September 8, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: Start your preparations to invoice USAC for FY2016 recurring services if you have not already done so. Review the information below to determine the steps you should be taking now.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 16 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on September 15. As of September 8, FY2017 commitments total just under $1.13 billion.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 62 FCDLs on September 12. As of September 8, 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).

Reminders on the Upcoming Invoice Deadline for FY2016 Recurring Services

The invoice deadline for recurring services is 120 days after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter or 120 days after the last date to receive services, whichever is later.

For most FY2016 recurring services, the invoice deadline will be October 28, 2017. Since October 28 falls on a Saturday, applicants and service providers will have until October 30 to submit invoices. Note that if your FCC Form 486 Notification Letter was issued after June 30, 2017 – or if it has not yet been issued – your invoice deadline will be calculated based on the date of your letter.

We are providing the following reminders so that applicants and service providers can start now to take any necessary actions well in advance of the invoice deadline for recurring services. We will discuss this material in more detail in the coming weeks, including how to request a one-time, 120-day extension of the invoice deadline if you need to do so.

Unless otherwise noted, the guidance below applies to both invoice forms – FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form and FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form.

Prerequisites to invoicing

In order for USAC to successfully process an invoice for an FY2016 funding request number (FRN) for recurring services, ALL of the following must have occurred:

  • USAC must have issued a positive funding commitment for the FRN.
  • The service provider must have certified an FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form, for FY2016.
  • The applicant must have certified an FCC Form 486, Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children's Internet Protection Act Certification Form, featuring the FRN.
  • Services must have been delivered. (Remember that we are discussing recurring services – the last day to deliver FY2016 recurring services was June 30, 2017.)

Additional requirement for SPI Forms:

  • The service provider must have billed the applicant for its non-discount share. Note that there is a presumption that your customer (the applicant) will pay your bill within 90 days.

Additional requirements for BEAR Forms:

  • The applicant must have certified – and USAC must have reviewed and approved – an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form.
  • The applicant must have paid the service provider in full for the cost of the services.
  • The applicant must have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to file and certify a BEAR Form online. (BEAR Forms cannot be filed on paper.)

FCC Form 473 (SPAC Form)

Service providers must certify a SPAC Form for FY2016 before USAC can pay invoices for FY2016. If a service provider has more than one Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN), that service provider must certify a SPAC Form for each SPIN featured on an FY2016 FRN under which service has been provided and invoices will be filed.

SPAC Forms for all funding years must be completed and certified online through the E-File System. USAC no longer accepts paper forms.

Applicants and service providers can verify that a SPAC Form has been certified by using the Service Provider Download tool on the Search Tools page. To locate a service provider's information, users can enter either the SPIN (also known as a 498 ID) or several consecutive letters in the service provider's name and then click Search. Every funding year for which the service provider's SPIN has a SPAC Form on file with USAC will appear in the far right-hand column of the search results.

FCC Form 486

Applicants must certify an FCC Form 486 (1) to notify USAC that their services have started and (2) to certify their status (or the status of the entities they represent) under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Applicants complete and certify FY2016 FCC Forms 486 in EPC. Note that FCC Forms 486 for FY2015 and previous funding years must be completed and certified in our legacy system. If you need to file an FCC Form 486 for an earlier funding year, go to the Apply for E-rate page on the USAC website and, in the FCC Form 486 section, click Previous Funding Years, choose Start Your Form, and then click the GO button.

FCC Form 498

Applicants must certify an FCC Form 498 to provide USAC with certain contact and banking information. USAC can no longer issue paper checks, so USAC must have this information on file to process payments electronically. Applicants complete and certify the FCC Form 498 in EPC.

Applicants who intend to certify BEAR Forms should complete and certify an FCC Form 498 as soon as possible. USAC must review each FCC Form 498, and will request documentation of the banking account information – such as a bank statement or voided check – before approving the form. We suggest that you scan and upload your documentation immediately after you certify your form instead of waiting for USAC to contact you.

You can refer to the August 11 SL News Brief and the FCC Form 498 User Guide for Applicants for information on completing and certifying the form and the August 18 SL News Brief for a description of USAC's review process.

FCC Form 474 (SPI Form)

Service providers can continue to complete and certify SPI Forms online as they have in the past. To start an FCC Form 474, click the File Online link in the FCC Form 474 section of the Forms page.

Service providers who are set up for electronic invoicing can continue to submit SPI Forms electronically. Service providers who want to sign up for electronic invoicing can do so by following the instructions on the electronic invoicing guidance document.

FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form)

Applicants can continue to complete and certify BEAR Forms online as they have in the past. To start an FCC Form 472, click the File Online link in the FCC Form 472 section of the Forms page. As a reminder, service providers no longer review BEAR Forms, and USAC will make approved payments to applicants directly.

To log in and start a BEAR Form, the applicant must have a PIN. Applicants who already have a PIN can continue to use their PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you can request one by completing the PIN Request Template (please do this even if you are only requesting a single PIN) and attaching the completed template to a customer service case in EPC. You can also call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 for assistance. In general, USAC will mail your PIN in a secure mailer within two weeks after you submit your PIN request.

PINs are specific to a billed entity number (BEN) and the last name of the certifier, so each person authorized to file BEAR Forms for a BEN will need their own PIN.

Document retention reminder

All applicants and service providers must retain all documents related to the application for, receipt, and delivery of supported services for at least 10 years after the later of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request.


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