March 16, 2018

TIP OF THE WEEK: The FY2018 application filing window closes next Thursday, March 22 at 11:59 PM EDT. If you have not yet filed your FCC Form 471, read the guidance below, learn how to navigate the form by watching the FCC Form 471 Video Series, and – for any last-minute questions – open a customer service case in EPC.

Commitments for Funding Year 2017

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 47 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 20. As of March 16, FY2017 commitments total over $2.24 billion.

On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in EPC.

Reminder of CSB Extended Hours

Below are the hours the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open during the last week of the filing window. We encourage you to avoid the busiest times, which are:

  • Weekday mornings from 11:00 AM through 12:30 PM EDT
  • Weekday afternoons from 2:30 PM through 4:00 PM EDT.

CSB will be open:

  • From 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18
  • From 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM EDT on Monday through Wednesday, March 19 through 21
  • From 8:00 AM EDT on Thursday, March 22, through 12:30 AM EDT on Friday, March 23.

If an agent is not able to answer when you call, please leave your telephone number at the prompt, and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Submitting Documents for Invoice Reviews

When an invoice – an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, or an FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form – is filed with USAC, USAC reviews the invoice to make sure it complies with program rules.

If we have questions about the services received, the costs of those services, or other compliance issues, we may ask for supporting documentation, such as customer bills from the service provider to the applicant, a copy of the contract, or a delivery verification.

Please note that we cannot accept documentation that has been altered or edited in any way, such as a total crossed out and a new total hand-written below it. If you need to provide notes or an explanation of any discrepancies between the documentation you provide and the invoice itself, we encourage you to:

  • provide a separate document or file to explain the difference or
  • include additional detail in the body of the email or
  • if needed, ask the service provider to correct the customer bill or other documentation by issuing a revised customer bill with a new bill number noting the correction.

Providing correct and unaltered documentation will greatly speed up the processing of our review.

Answers to Common Application Filing Window Questions

Below are some of the questions we have been receiving recently related to filing and certifying FCC Form 471.

I am a new user and I have not received my email to log in to EPC.  What do I do?

  • You do not need to wait for the first email to arrive. After your account administrator or CSB has created you as a user, go to, enter your email address, and click "Reset Password." If you do not receive the second email inviting you to reset your password, contact your account administrator or CSB at 888-203-8100.

How do I change my account administrator?

  • Your current account administrator can pass that role to another user on your organization's account. To change the account administrator:
    • The current account administrator logs in to EPC.
    • Click the link to your organization (the organization name in the My Entities list)
    • Open the drop-down menu at the top of the page (the button marked "...") and choose Modify Account Administrator.
    • De-select yourself first, and then select the new account administrator. If you created a new user and want that user to be the account administrator, you will not see them on the list of users until they set their password, log in to EPC, and accept the terms and conditions of EPC use.
    • Click Continue, review the display for accuracy, then click Submit.
  • If you do not have an account administrator or the user currently assigned the account administrator role is unavailable, open a customer service case or call CSB for assistance.

How do I create a contract record?

  • To create a contract record:
    • Log in to EPC.
    • Click the link to your organization (the organization name at the top of the My Entities list)
    • Choose Contracts from the menu at the top of the page.
    • Follow the prompts to provide the required information.
    • You have the option to upload a copy of your contract, which we encourage you to do. You will then be able to cite your contract on the appropriate funding request(s) in the FCC Form 471 without having to re-enter the contract information.

Can I update the answers to my connectivity questions even though EPC profiles are locked?

  • Yes. The answers to the connectivity questions are not locked and can be updated. To access the entry page for your connectivity questions:
    • Log in to EPC.
    • Click the link to your organization (the organization name at the top of the My Entities list)
    • Choose Related Actions from the menu at the top of the page, then choose Manage Connectivity Questions. You do not need to update your answers if they have not changed from last year, but you will have to provide answers to the questions for any new entities. Your answers will then move from your profile into the FCC Form 471 right before you arrive at the Certifications. (Remember that consortia are not required to answer connectivity questions.) 

My urban/rural status is incorrect. How do I fix it?

  • You can provide this information through a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification after your FCC Form 471 has been certified. To do this:
    • From your landing page in EPC, search for your form in the FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Request section.
    • Click on the form's Application Number to access the form.
    • Choose Related Actions from the menu at the top of the page, then choose Submit Modification Request (RAL).
    • Follow the prompts to locate the entity or entities you need to update, and provide the correct status. Remember that modifications that you submit will not immediately change the form, but they will be reviewed during the application review process.

I can't change the student counts in my profile. What should I do?

  • Submit a RAL modification as described above. Remember that modifications that you submit will not appear in the original view of your form, but they will be reviewed during the application review process.

I exited my FCC Form 471 without completing it. How do I get back to my form?

  • If you have not yet provided all of the required information on the form, EPC will create a task for you in the My Tasks list on your landing page to return to the form and complete your data entry.
  • If you have provided all of the required information and then clicked Send for Certification, EPC will create a task for all full-rights users to be able to access and certify the form.

Why can't I certify my FCC Form 471?

  • You have probably not been assigned full rights to the FCC Form 471 for your organization. Check with your account administrator to verify the permissions that have been assigned to you.

How do I correct information on my FCC Form 471 after it is certified?

  • Submit a RAL modification as described above.

What if I miss the March 22 deadline?

  • Be sure to wait at least 28 days after you certified your FCC Form 470 before you choose a service provider and, if applicable, sign a contract. Then complete and certify your FCC Form 471. After your form has been certified, you will receive an out-of-window message. You can then request a waiver of the window filing requirement from the FCC. Please note that your waiver request may or may not be granted.


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