May 4, 2018

TIP OF THE WEEK: Applicants who have received their FCDLs for FY2018 can file and certify an FCC Form 486 early – that is, before services have started – if they meet certain requirements. For information on filing the FCC Form 486 early, you can refer to Step 5 Starting Services on the USAC website.

Commitments for Funding Years 2018 and 2017

Funding Year 2018. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2018 Wave 5 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on May 10. As of May 4, FY2018 commitments total over $699 million.

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 53 FCDLs (for some of the hurricane relief applications filed during the Second FY2017 Application Window) on May 11. As of May 4, FY2017 commitments total just under $2.29 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).

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 and 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 top 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 specific FCC Form 471 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," "No," or "N/A," or use a Browse function to upload a document as a response to the question to its left.

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.

You can upload a single document for each question by using the Browse function within the list of questions. If you need to upload more than one document to answer a question:

  • Go to the bottom of the list of questions, and choose the +Add Document link.
  • A drop-down list of the questions will appear. Choose the question that you intend to address by providing the document.
  • Upload that document.
  • Repeat the above process until you have uploaded all of your responsive documents.

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 been provided to USAC – information that would help us locate it. However, if there are contract-related 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 document(s) to your certified FCC Form(s) 470. However, if any of these documents are missing – for example, addenda and Q&As related to information in the FCC Form 470 and/or RFP(s) – upload those documents 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. For each bid, make sure to indicate the applicable FRN(s) and the date received. If you did not receive any bids, indicate that in your response and explain how you selected your service provider. Note that a service being received from an existing service provider (for example, if you used a customer bill from your existing provider as a bid response) can be considered a bid and should be logged as such.

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, the bid evaluation matrix that shows how each winning bid was selected, any correspondence between you and the bidders, and attendance sheets for any meetings regarding the FCC Form 470 and/or RFP.

5. Consulting agreements

Provide a copy of your consulting agreement or letter of agency that covers the current funding year if you used a consultant. If you did not use a consultant, indicate that you did not.

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. 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. You will not be able to edit your answers or attach additional documents after you click the Submit button.

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 at the top 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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