July 14, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that there are instructional videos posted in USAC's Online Learning Library. These videos provide information about using our online system for the first time and demonstrate how to file program forms.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 8 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 21. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 14, FY2017 commitments total over $452 million.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 55 FCDLs on July 18. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 14, FY2016 commitments total over $2.81 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).

Information Requests from USAC - Summer Contact Period Started May 26

USAC has procedures to contact applicants if Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) needs more information in order to complete its review of an FCC Form 471.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules. PIA will put the review of your application on hold if we cannot make a live contact by telephone with the contact person or someone else who has been designated to respond to our questions.

  • Our summer contact period is defined as the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day. For 2017, the dates of the summer contact period are May 26 through September 8.

If our first attempt to contact you was on or after May 26, and we cannot confirm that you are available to respond to our questions, we will put your review process on hold and not continue the review of your application until after September 8. You can always contact us to restart the review of your application if you become available before September 8.

You also have the option of requesting a summer deferral through EPC. Please note the following:

  • Due to a system issue, applicants have been temporarily unable to request summer deferrals for FY2017 application reviews. Consequently, if you want to request a summer deferral – even if the review of your application started before the summer contact period went into effect – you can do so as long as we have not already issued a commitment decision for your application in a funding wave.
  • To put your application on summer deferral, you can contact your PIA reviewer directly. If you have not yet been in touch with your PIA reviewer, you can open a customer service case in EPC or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100 and someone will get back to you.

Reminder of PIA review process

If PIA has questions for you, those questions will be posted in EPC. EPC will generate an email notifying the FCC Form 471 contact person that the questions are posted on the Review Inquiries page in EPC. The email contains a hyperlink to the questions.

You can also access the Review Inquiries page from the left-hand menu on the first screen of your certified FCC Form 471. Full- and partial-rights users on the organization's account can also see and respond to the PIA questions from this page.

USAC's customary procedure is as follows:

  • USAC uses the FCC Form 471 main contact email address to send a notice that questions are available in EPC and posts the questions to the FCC Form 471. Full- or partial-rights users will not receive the email.
  • If we have not heard from you or you provide only a partial response after seven days from our first attempt to contact you, we will send you a reminder and also inform your state E-rate coordinator via a separate email that we are attempting to contact you.
  • If we have not heard from you after 15 days from our first attempt to contact you, you will receive a second notification reminding you to respond. If we still do not receive a response, we will use the information we have to complete the processing of your form.
  • Note that applications on summer deferral will not start this process up again until after September.

If PIA has already contacted you and you wish to designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure to send your designee's contact information to your PIA reviewer. If PIA has not contacted you and your designee will be checking your messages, be sure that you have provided written authorization for your designee to answer questions about your application.

If PIA makes contact with someone representing your organization but that person is not in a position to answer PIA questions, they should clearly state to the PIA reviewer that the review of your application should be put on hold until you are available.

You can ask for more time to respond if you need it.

Common Questions on FCC Form 470

Now that applicants are filing FCC Forms 470 for FY2017, we are providing answers to some common questions coming in to CSB.

When can I file an FCC Form 470?

You can file an FCC Form 470 for FY2017 now. The FCC Form 470 for a funding year is generally available online on July 1 of the year preceding that funding year.

What is an RFP and is one required?

In general, a Request for Proposal (RFP) is a formal bidding document that describes a project and requested services in sufficient detail so that potential bidders understand the scope, location, and any other requirements. RFPs may be known by a variety of names, for example, an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or Request for Quote (RFQ). In most instances, RFPs are not specifically required as part of the E-rate program, but you must issue one if it is required by your state or local competitive bidding or procurement rules.

We use "RFP" or "RFP document" generically to refer to any bidding document issued as part of your competitive bidding process that describes your project and requested services in more detail than in the fields provided on the FCC Form 470. If you are issuing an RFP and/or one or more RFP documents, you are required to upload those documents to your FCC Form 470.

What corrections can I make to my FCC Form 470?

You can make the following changes to a certified FCC Form 470:

  • Edit the nickname you created for your form.
  • Change the main contact person on the form.
  • Edit the technical contact person you identified on the form.
  • Add an RFP document.
    • If you did not add at least one RFP document to your form before it was certified, you will have to certify a new form in order to be able to attach an RFP document.
    • If you issue an RFP document AFTER an FCC Form 470 is certified, you must upload the document to that certified FCC Form 470.

How do I make corrections to the FCC Form 470?

  • Navigate to the form in EPC. You can do this in two ways:
    • Go to the bottom of your landing page and search for and locate your form using the search criteria provided or
    • Click the Records tab, choose FCC Forms 470, and use the search criteria provided in the left-hand margin to locate your form.
  • Choose Related Actions from the left-hand menu.
  • Click the appropriate link from the menu provided.

My FCC Form 470 does not show the correct number of entities. What do I need to do?

We strongly recommend updating the entities in your profile in EPC before you start a form. CSB can help you create entities, add and remove entities, and create annexes as needed. If you do this work before you certify your FCC Form 470, the number of entities should be correct.

However, if your entity count is not correct, you can add an RFP document to your form to explain the discrepancy (for example, if services are delivered to annexes that have a different address but EPC did not count them as separate entities). Remember, though, that you must have attached at least one RFP document to your form in order to add another one after the form is certified. Otherwise, you must start a new form.

What service/function should I list this service/product under on the FCC Form 470?

You may not be sure exactly where on the FCC Form 470 to list a particular product or service. If the product or service appears to fit into more than one category of service or service type, you should:

  • List the product or service under all of the categories or service types where it fits, and
  • Provide a detailed explanation in the narrative field and/or your RFP or RFP document.

What should I do if I certified an FCC Form 470 and left off some services?

The clearest way to proceed is to certify a new FCC Form 470 and include all of the services you want on that form and its associated RFP and/or RFP documents. If you attached an RFP document to the original form, you can attach another document to notify bidders that they should use the information in the new FCC Form 470 (include the new FCC Form 470 number) instead of the original one.

You can also attach one or more RFP documents to your existing form (again, if you attached at least one RFP document to that form before it was certified) to add the services that were omitted. Keep in mind that the addition of those services will probably be a cardinal change, and you must start your 28-day waiting period again from the date you add the document.

As a third option, you could certify a new FCC Form 470 that contains only the additional services. If you choose this option, be very clear whether you want bids that include all of the products and services in both forms, or if you are willing to accept separate bids for the services on each form.

For more information on the FCC Form 470 and the competitive bidding process, you can refer to the following resources available on the USAC website:


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