June 29, 2018

TIP OF THE WEEK: If your FY2018 services start on July 1, 2018, do not check the Early Filing box when you file your FCC Form 486. For Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) with a service start date of July 1, early filing is only an option through Saturday, June 30.

Commitments for Funding Years 2018 and 2017

Funding Year 2018. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2018 Wave 11 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 26 and Wave 12 FCDLs on June 29. As of June 29, FY2018 commitments total over $1.28 billion.

Funding Year 2017. USAC released FY2017 Wave 56 FCDLs on June 28. As of June 29,  FY2017 commitments total just over $2.30 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).

FY2019 FCC Form 470 Available on July 1

USAC will release the FY2019 FCC Form 470 in EPC on or about July 1. After the form has been released, applicants can start the process for posting an FCC Form 470 and opening a competitive bidding process for FY2019.

There are some minor changes to the form from the FY2018 version, which are detailed below:

1. Category One drop-down options

Voice Service has been phased out, and the drop-down for voice service will no longer appear.

Maintenance & Operations is now an item in the drop-down menu. In the FY2018 version of the form, Maintenance and Technical Support was a Yes/No question on the same web page.

Examples for Category One drop-downs

You can refer to the following table of examples for guidance on which drop-down option(s) to choose when filing Category One service requests on your FCC Form 470:

 Bids being sought  Drop-down(s) to choose:

 - A library is looking for internet access service to be transmitted over a fiber circuit.

 - A school district completed construction on a new elementary school, and they are looking for a dedicated fiber circuit to connect the new school to the district's existing Wide Area Network (WAN).

 - School A is looking for a dedicated fiber circuit to connect to School B (point-to-point) in order to transmit data between the two entities.


Leased Lit Fiber (with or without internet access)

 - A library located in a rural or mountainous area without fiber access seeks broadband internet access service provided over a non-fiber connection.

 - A school is located in an area where service providers have not installed fiber locally, and the school seeks internet access service.


Internet Access and Transport Bundled (Non-Fiber)

 - A library is located in an area where internet service providers can deliver multiple types of broadband service. The library has a desired minimum speed and is interested in bids for both leased lit fiber and non-fiber bundled internet access.

 - A school, also located an area where internet service providers can deliver multiple types of broadband service, is interested in comparing bids for internet access services delivered over any method, including coaxial cable, leased lit fiber, and microwave.


Internet Access and Transport Bundled (Non-Fiber)
Leased Lit Fiber (with or without internet access)

Note: Applicants must create two separate service requests – one for each drop-down option.

 - A library recently joined a consortium with an existing WAN. The consortium also has an existing contract with a service provider that supplies internet access for all consortium members. Since the internet access will already be provided, the library only seeks bids for a circuit to connect to the consortium's network. The library is only interested in seeking bids for non-fiber based transport options.

 - School C is looking for a non-fiber circuit to connect to School D (point-to-point) in order to transmit data between the two entities.


Transport Only – No ISP Service Included (Non-Fiber)

 - A school district is interested in setting up a WAN to connect its schools using leased dark fiber. Because the district seeks bids for leased dark fiber, they must also request bids for leased lit fiber to compare the options.


Leased Dark Fiber and Leased Lit Fiber

 - A school district is constructing a new elementary school building next to their existing middle school building. They would like to provide connectivity between the two campuses, which are located on the same property. The school district is interested in the option to own and maintain the circuit that connects the buildings themselves.


Self-Provisioned Network (Applicant Owned and Operated Network) and Services Provided Over Third-Party Networks

 - A school district has a self-provisioned WAN, and the high school acts as the district's internet hub. Because the district already owns circuits which can transmit internet access service to its schools, they seek only internet access (ISP service) that will terminate at the hub.


Internet Access: ISP Service Only (No Transport Circuit Included)

 - A consortium wants to order new equipment for its members. The equipment is needed to light fiber for the consortium's existing self-provisioned fiber network. They seek bids on network equipment needed to keep their network functional.


Network Equipment

 - A library system seeks maintenance for leased dark fiber, which is already used by the five libraries in the system. They seek bids from providers for maintenance and operations on their existing network.


Maintenance & Operations

 - A small charter school does not currently have a wireless local area network (WLAN), because it is cost prohibitive. The school would like 10 air cards and three data plans in order to access the internet on a cellular network, using their existing 13 mobile devices.


Cellular Data Plan/Air Card Service

2. Installment Payment Plan. This now only appears as an option for Category One service requests that could potentially include special construction charges. In the FY2018 version of the form, this option appeared for all Category One requests even if it did not apply.

3. PDF generation of draft form. When you indicate that you are ready to review your draft form prior to certification, EPC will create a task for you and post it in your Tasks menu. In the FY2018 version of the form, you were forced to remain on the same page with a moving graphic and continue to click the Refresh button until the draft form was ready for review.

Additional Assistance with Filing the FCC Form 470

We have posted a video series on how to file FCC Form 470 for FY2019, using a single FCC Form 470 as an example from the beginning to the end of the filing process. This video series is located in the Online Learning Library on the USAC website and includes the following:

For step-by-step information on filing – including screenshots of each step in the process – we have also posted an FCC Form 470 User Guide. For a list with descriptions of the service type options in Category One, you can refer to the Category One Drop-down Table.

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