January 11, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: To prepare for the opening of the FCC Form 471 application filing window, applicants should review the information provided below. Plan now to complete the activities you need to certify your FCC Form 470 no later than February 27 and to certify your FCC Form 471 no later than March 27.

Commitments for Funding Year 2018

Funding Year 2018. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2018 Wave 40 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on January 11. As of January 11, FY2018 commitments total over $2.08 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).

USAC Is Open for Business As Usual; All Deadlines Remain in Effect

During the government shutdown, USAC will remain open for business as usual and all universal service deadlines remain in effect. Disbursements will continue to be issued by USAC. USAC events such as conference calls and webinars will take place as scheduled.

Getting Ready for the FY2019 Application Filing Window

Take note of the important dates and reminders below as you plan to apply for discounts on eligible services for FY2019.

Window opens: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at noon EST.

Window closes: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Last day to timely file an FCC Form 470: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The FCC Forms 470 and 471 must be filed in EPC. The dates and times above apply to the time the form is certified in EPC. If you complete all of the required information on the form before the deadline but certify it after the deadline, it will not be considered as timely filed.

Below we discuss filing your FCC Form 470, updating your profile information, and creating your contract records so that you are prepared for the FY2019 filing window.

FCC Form 470 for FY2019

Applicants begin the process of applying for discounts on eligible services for FY2019 by certifying an FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) in EPC. This opens the competitive bidding process, which is a formal process to identify and request the products and services needed so that potential service providers can review those requests and submit bids for them.

The entity that will run the competitive bidding process - which may be you, a state procurement agency, or another entity that you have authorized to negotiate on your behalf with a Letter of Agency (LOA) or similar documentation - must be prepared to receive and evaluate bids and negotiate with service providers.

You do not have to file an FCC Form 470 for FY2019 if:

  • You will be purchasing services from a state master contract where your state filed an FCC Form 470 and conducted a competitive bidding process AND that resulting state master contract covers those services for ALL of FY2019; or
  • You posted an FCC Form 470 for a previous funding year and conducted a competitive bidding process which resulted in a multi-year contract that covers your services for ALL of FY2019; or
  • You are purchasing a commercially available, high-speed business-class internet service that meets ALL of the requirements listed in the Exemption from Filing an FCC Form 470 section of the Applicant Step 1: Competitive Bidding guidance document on the USAC website.

Keep in mind that you must wait at least 28 days after you certify your FCC Form 470 before you can select a service provider, sign a contract, and complete and certify your FCC Form 471. If you wait until after February 27 to certify your FCC Form 470, you cannot certify an FCC Form 471 until after the application filing window closes. Your late-filed FCC Form 471 will not be considered for funding unless you request and receive a waiver of the filing window deadline from the FCC.

If you have already certified your FCC Form 470, be sure to complete all of your competitive bidding activities in time to certify your FCC Form 471 by the close of the application filing window.

Profile information updates

Applicants should update their profile information while the administrative window is open. The administrative window will close on January 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

To update an entity's profile, click on the entity's name under the My Entities section of your organization's landing page. Then click the Manage Organization button at the top of the page or choose "Manage Organization" from the Related Actions menu.

  • Schools and school districts should review their address and contact information, attributes (e.g., public, private, tribal), and student counts (full-time, part-time, and peak part-time student counts; approved CEP percentage, alternative discount mechanisms).
  • Libraries and library systems should review their address and contact information, attributes (e.g., public, private, tribal), the main library branch and its associated school district, and square footage.
  • Consortia should review their address and contact information and their list of member entities. Consortia can add or delete entities as appropriate, but their member entities must update their own profile information.

After the administrative window closes, if you find that you have missed a necessary entity update, you can submit a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification in EPC to request the update.

If you have a new child entity – a new school in your school district or a new library in your library system – the Client Service Bureau (CSB) can create that entity for you. As long as the new entity is created and linked to your parent entity before the administrative window closes, that entity will appear in your profile and on your FCC Form 471. After that time, CSB can create the entity, but you must submit a RAL modification and wait for USAC to review your FCC Form 471 before the child entity can be linked to your school district or library system.

Contract records

If you intend to cite a new or existing contract on your FCC Form 471, you must have a contract record for that contract in your profile. A contract record provides specific details about a contract – e.g., the establishing FCC Form 470, the number of bids received, the service provider, the contract term and associated dates – so that this information can be populated from your profile to the appropriate funding request on your FCC Form 471. You can create contract records after the administrative window closes.

To create a contract record, go to the organization page for the parent organization (independent school, school district, independent library, library system, or consortium), click Contracts from the menu choices at the top of the page, then choose Manage Contracts, then choose Add a New Contract.

  • You do not need to create a new contract record for a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions if you previously created the contract record in EPC.
    • For a contract that has been voluntarily extended through FY2019, you can cite the existing contract record on the appropriate funding request on your FCC Form 471 and then enter the extended date in the field labeled "What is the date your contract expires for the current term of the contract?"
  • If you have a new contract or need to make changes to an existing contract record, you must create a new contract record. EPC does not allow edits to a contract record after it has been submitted.
  • You are encouraged – but not required – to upload a copy of your contract into your contract record. If you do not upload your contract, be sure to keep a copy handy in case USAC requests it during the review of your application.

Note on connectivity questions

Answers to the connectivity questions are not required for FY2019. These were previously located in your profile and automatically included at the end of your FCC Form 471 application. You will, however, be able to view the answers you have provided in past funding years on your previous year FCC Forms 471.

USAC Seeks IT Enhancement Feedback

The USAC web page – Share Your E-rate Technical System Ideas – continues to be available for program participants to submit their ideas and feedback for improving and/or enhancing Schools and Libraries information systems. Information submitted to USAC through the feedback form on this webpage should only pertain to proposed changes to the E-rate related information technology (IT) systems.

To share your thoughts and ideas, go to the web page, enter your name and email address, identify your role in the E-rate program, and describe your idea. When you are finished, click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the page.

If we have questions or would like more information about your submission, we may send you a request to the email address you provided. If you do not wish to be contacted by USAC, please notify us by email at

Note that we cannot respond to specific inquiries or requests for assistance through this form. For these issues, submit a customer service case in EPC or call CSB at 888-203-8100.

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