June 23, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: You can now watch a recording of our FCC Form 486 webinar in the Webinar Recordings section of USAC's Online Learning Library. For a schedule of upcoming webinars, visit the Webinar page on the USAC website.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 4 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) earlier today. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 23, FY2017 commitments total over $252 million.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 52 FCDLs on June 30. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 23, FY2016 commitments total over $2.76 billion.

On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

Comment Period Established for Draft FY2018 Eligible Services List

On June 21, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice (DA 17-602) establishing the comment period for the FY2018 Eligible Services List (ESL).

Comments on the draft ESL, which is attached to the Public Notice, are due to the FCC on or before July 21, 2017. Reply comments are due to the FCC on or before August 7, 2017. For information on filing comments with the FCC, please refer to the Public Notice.

Update on FY2018 FCC Form 470

The FCC Form 470 for FY2018 is now available in EPC. Applicants with long procurement cycles or who have other reasons for starting their FY2018 competitive bidding processes well in advance of the funding year can now complete and certify this form.

To start an FCC Form 470 in EPC, log in to EPC and click the FCC Form 470 link at the top of your landing page.

Remember that USAC will be hosting a webinar on how to complete the FCC Form 470 on Tuesday, July 18, at 3:00 PM EDT. To register for the webinar, visit the Webinars page on the USAC website.

Profile Updates and Application Reviews

Shortly after the application filing window closed for FY2017, USAC unlocked applicant profiles in EPC. Once the profiles were unlocked, applicants were able to go into their profiles and make updates.

We encourage applicants to continue to contact the Client Service Bureau (CSB) to create new entities (including annexes) and to link existing entities to their school districts or library systems – activities that applicants were not able to complete while their profiles were locked.

Please note, however, that some profile information may change as part of the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review process of FY2017 FCC Forms 471 and other review processes. If changes occur in certain fields, we may need to overwrite current entity profile information with the changes identified in application reviews.

Consequently, for profile updates outside of creating new entities and linking new or existing entities, we encourage you to wait until later this year to update your profile information. We will make every effort to notify you in advance if there are updates that we must make to your profile because of our review activities, but we want to make you aware now that such updates may occur.

Selective Review Details

Last week's SL News Brief included an overview of the selective review process – a separate component of PIA review that verifies applicant compliance with the competitive bidding process and the necessary resources requirements of the E-rate program. In this issue, we are providing more details about the process itself.

Completing the selective review questions

If you are chosen for a selective review, USAC will email the FCC Form 471 contact person and provide a link to the selective review questions in EPC. You can also access the questions by logging in to EPC, going to your FCC Form 471, and clicking the Review Inquiries option in the left-hand menu.

Please note that selective reviews are done at the billed entity level, not the application level. We will note at the top of your selective review questions all of the applicable FCC Form 471 numbers, but the questions will be available from a single form in EPC.

The selective review questions will appear in a table with three columns.

  • The left-hand column is the question number. If the question has multiple sections or subsections, the sections or subsections will be labeled appropriately (e.g., a, b, c or I, II, III).
  • The center column will contain the actual questions. Question #1 will contain a sample spreadsheet that you can use to provide answers to some of the subsequent questions.
  • The right-hand column allows you to choose "Yes" or "No" or to upload one or more documents as responses to the question to its left.

Please provide complete answers to all of the questions and upload all of the documents requested. At the bottom of the list of questions, there is also a link labeled "+Add Document" for you to be able to upload additional documents if you need to do so.

Uploading requested documents

To provide complete answers to some of the selective review questions, you must upload one or more documents. Always provide at the top of each document the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that the document covers.

In the following situations, you may not need to provide documents. Be sure to note in your answers that this is the case, and provide the FRNs covered by your answer.

  • You do not need to provide a copy of an FCC Form 470 posted to the USAC website.
  • If you already uploaded a requested document to your organization's EPC profile or a contract record, you do not need to upload another copy to your selective review response.
  • You do not need to upload competitive bidding and vendor selection documentation to your response if your state certified an FCC Form 470 that resulted in a single winner and you purchased service from that resulting state master contract. However:
    • If a state-certified FCC Form 470 resulted in a multiple award schedule, you must document how you chose your service provider from the service providers on the multiple award schedule.
    • If you certified an FCC Form 470 and considered a state master contract as a bid response, you must still upload your competitive bidding and vendor selection documentation.

1. Contracts and/or other agreements

You can note in your answers that you have already provided contracts in your organization's contract record(s) in EPC. For state master contracts, you can provide a website address or, if the contract has already provided to USAC, information that would help us to locate it. However, if there are contract-dated documents not included in your contract records (e.g., a statement of work, a contract amendment, evidence of a legally binding agreement), upload them to your selective review response.

2. Request for Proposal (RFP) and RFP documents

You can note in your answers that you have already uploaded your RFP(s) and RFP documents to your certified FCC Form(s) 470. However, if any of these documents are missing, upload them to your response.

3. Bid responses

Upload complete copies of proposals, bid responses, and other documents received in response to your FCC Form 470 and/or RFP. If you did not receive any bids, indicate that in your response and explain how you selected your service provider.

4. Vendor selection process

Provide a description of the evaluation process, the factors you used to determine the winning bid, the weighting of those factors, any correspondence between you and the bidders, and attendance sheets for any meetings regarding the FCC Form 470 and/or RFP.

5. Consulting agreements

If you used a consultant, provide a copy of your consulting agreement or letter of agency. Indicate that no consultant was used if you did not use one.

6. Correspondence

Include copies of all correspondence between the billed entity and service provider(s) and/or consultant(s) regarding the competitive bidding process and the application process, e.g., emails, faxes, phone logs, letters and responses from potential bidders and selected service providers.

7. Organizational structure

If your organization functions in multiple capacities, such as consultant, service provider, and/or applicant, provide a copy of your organizational flow charts clearly identifying the role in which you are responding, and how that role is separated from other business functions and/or reporting structures in the organization.

8. Other documentation

You have the option at the bottom of the selective review questions (the "+Add Document" link) to upload any other documentation that demonstrates your compliance with the competitive bidding requirements of the E-rate program.

Submitting your response

Review your response to make sure that all Yes/No questions have been answered and all responsive documents have been uploaded. For any documents that we have requested but that you are unable to produce, please provide an explanation. (You can always use the "+Add Document" link to upload a file you create to provide your explanation.)

After you have verified that all questions have been answered and all requested documents uploaded, you can then click the green Submit button at the bottom of the page to send us your response.

If we have additional questions, we will send an email notification to the FCC Form 471 contact person with a link to our questions in EPC. You can also access these additional questions by clicking the Review Inquiries menu option on the left-hand side of the FCC Form 471 record where your original questions were posted.

For detailed information on selective reviews, visit the Selective Review page on the USAC website and review the SRIR Instructions.


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