August 11, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you intend to file BEAR Forms for your FY2016 recurring services, request a PIN and certify your FCC Form 498 if you haven't already done so. The invoice deadline for these services is October 30, 2017 (October 28 is a Saturday) if your FCC Form 486 Notification Letter is dated on or before June 30, 2017.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 12 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on August 18. As of August 11, FY2017 commitments total over $789 million.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 59 FCDLs on August 15. As of August 11, FY2016 commitments total over $2.90 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).

Prepare for Invoicing by Completing Your FCC Form 498 Today

Applicants who want to request reimbursements directly from USAC by submitting an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, must first certify an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form. USAC must review and approve each FCC Form 498 before you can receive a 498 ID. The 498 ID will then be featured on each BEAR Form you submit.

General reminders

  • Service providers no longer review and approve BEAR Forms, and BEAR payments go directly to applicants. This applies to BEAR Forms for all funding years.
  • You do not have to re-file if you already have an approved FCC Form 498. Be sure, however, to review and update your form if any of your information has changed.

For those applicants who have not yet filed an FCC Form 498, below is a summary and step-by-step description of the data entry process.

Before you begin, make sure you have the following information available:

 - Your Company Officer and General Financial Contact

Your Company Officer is someone who occupies a position of authority, typically a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, library director, assistant library director, county administrator, district administrator, or state education department or state library lead.

  • The Company Officer must be authorized to certify that the information provided in the FCC Form 498 is true, accurate, and complete.
  • The Company Officer cannot be a consultant.

The General Financial Contact must be authorized by your organization to retrieve its FCC Form 498 information and obtain access to USAC's online filing system. The General Financial Contact will be able to complete but not certify updates to the FCC Form 498, unless the General Financial Contact is also the Company Officer. (You can designate the same person to be both the Company Officer and the General Financial Contact.)

Your account administrator assigns these two roles in EPC to the appropriate individual(s).

 - Your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

In general, schools and libraries already have a Federal EIN or tax identification number. If the billed entity is not the school or library – for example, if a town or county government files program forms on behalf of a library that does not control its own finances – the EIN of the appropriate agency should be provided.

 - Your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number

DUNS, or Data Universal Numbering System, is a proprietary system developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet. The DUNS system assigns a unique numeric identifier to a single business entity upon request. Applicants will be required to provide a DUNS number on the FCC Form 498.

Dun and Bradstreet will issue a DUNS number without charge to an entity required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.

  • First, check to see if you already have a DUNS number. You can check by searching the online D-U-N-S database website.
  • If you do not already have a DUNS number (in other words, if your search is not successful), you can apply for one by clicking the button labeled Request a D-U-N-S Number.

 - Your FCC Registration Number (FCC RN)

An FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) is required by all entities that do business with the FCC. If you have filed an FCC Form 471 in the last several years, you already have an FCC RN.

If you do not yet have an FCC RN, you can apply for one on the FCC’s CORES website.

NOTE: The FCC website refers to these numbers as "FRNs." Do not confuse this initialism with the Funding Request Number (FRN) that USAC assigns to each funding request on an FCC Form 471.

 - Your bank account information for direct payments

To identify the bank account where you want USAC to send your direct payments, you will be asked to provide three pieces of information:

  • Bank name
  • Account number – the number assigned by your bank to identify your account
  • Routing number – a nine-digit number that identifies the specific bank.

The bank account information provided on the form cannot be for a bank account owned by a consultant.

How to file the FCC Form 498

When your School or Library Official or General Financial Contact is ready to start the FCC Form 498, they log in to EPC, click the organization name on the landing page, choose Related Actions, and then Create FCC Form 498. Note: If you are not the School or Library Official or the General Financial Contact, you will not see a link to create an FCC Form 498.

Below is a list of the screens on the form in EPC and the information requested on each screen.

 - FCC Form 498: Basic Information

The organization information populates on this screen from the organization profile. The fields for Application Nickname and Federal EIN are required.

You do not need to provide an entry in the Name Company Is Doing Business As (DBA) or Formerly Known As (FKA) field or the Holding Company Name field unless you are a charter school or other entity where these fields would apply.

 - FCC Form 498: General Financial Contact

You must identify the General Financial Contact you designated in your organization's profile or indicate that the School or Library Official is filling this role. Because this person is already a user in EPC, their address and other contact information will populate from the profile.

 - FCC Form 498: Organization Numbers

On this screen, you enter the Federal EIN and the Dun and Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) Number. If the FCC Registration Number does not populate automatically, you must return to the organization's profile and enter it there.

 - FCC Form 498: Remittance Contact and Financial Information

The Remittance Contact is the person who is notified when the deposit of a BEAR payment is made. This person does not have to be set up as a user in EPC; you can simply enter their contact information in the fields provided.

The financial information consists of the following fields:

  • Remittance Financial Institution - the name of the bank where the account is held
  • ACH Financial Institution Transit Number - the nine-digit number that identifies the bank
  • Financial Institution Account Number for ACH - the number that identifies the account.

 - FCC Form 498: Associated BENs

On this screen you provide the Billed Entity Numbers (BENs) to be associated with this FCC Form 498.

  • In most cases, this will be a single BEN – the entity number of the organization that files your program forms. For example, if you are a school district, the school district's BEN will appear automatically, and you do not need to enter the entity numbers for each school in the school district.
  • However, there are some situations where another entity – not the filer of the FCC Form 498 – will actually be the entity requesting reimbursement. Here are two examples:
    • A consortium may file the FCC Form 471 for all of its members, but one member pays directly for the service on that form itself. If that entity has its own bank account and wants to file directly for reimbursement from USAC, the consortium can file a second FCC Form 498 and feature the entity number for that entity as an associated BEN and include that entity's banking information on that second form.
    • An entity may have been the billed entity for a service featured on an FY2015 FCC Form 471, but the entity was created in EPC as a child entity (for example, as a library branch of a library system) for FY2016. In order for the child entity (the library branch) to request reimbursement for the FY2015 service, the parent entity (the library system) can file a second FCC Form 498 and feature the entity number of that library branch as an associated BEN and include the library branch's banking information on that second form.

 - FCC Form 498: Principal Communication Type

This will be automatically populated with "School/Library or other Billed Entity Recipient."

 - FCC Form 498: Certification

The system will generate a PDF of the form.

  • If the Company Officer is filing the form, the Company Officer should review the PDF document to verify that the information is correct. If no changes are required, the Company Officer can click the two certification checkboxes and then the green Certify button below.
  • If the General Financial Contact is filing the form, the General Financial Contact should review the PDF document for accuracy. If everything is correct, the General Financial Contact can click the green Send for Certification button to send the form to the Company Officer so that the Company Officer can certify the form.

To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2017, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005