February 1, 2019

Funding Year (FY) 2019 Window Countdown

Days to window close


FY2019 FCC Forms 470 filed


FY2019 FCC Forms 471 filed


Form counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EST

TIP OF THE WEEK: Registration is now open for E-rate office hour webinars. Check the Webinars page for our current schedule. More events will be added soon.

Commitments for Funding Year 2018

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 43 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on January 31. As of January 31, FY2018 commitments total over $2.12 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).

FCC Waives and Proposes to Eliminate Amortization Requirement

In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order FCC 19-5, released January 31, 2019, the FCC proposes to eliminate the amortization requirement and waives the requirement for FY2019 applications and all other applications filed for the duration of its rulemaking. The FCC also directs USAC to identify any FY2019 FCC Forms 471 that seek funding based on amortized amounts and to inform the applicants that they can amend their forms to request funding based on non-amortized amounts until the close of the FY2019 application window.

In calendar year 2000, an FCC decision required schools and libraries to amortize over three years upfront, non-recurring charges of $500,000 or more – including charges for special construction projects. In calendar year 2014, the FCC suspended this requirement, through FY2018, in order to lower the barriers to broadband infrastructure investment. This requirement has now been waived for the duration of this rulemaking proceeding.

Reminders on the Competitive Bidding Process and the FCC Form 470

Applicants who are requesting services under the E-rate Program for FY2019 must file an FY2019 FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) unless they meet one of the following conditions:

Below are some reminders to help you through the competitive bidding process.

The competitive bidding process must be open and fair.

It is the applicant's responsibility to run an open and fair competitive bidding process.

  • All bidders must be treated the same.
  • No bidder can have advance knowledge of the project information.
  • There are no secrets in the process – such as information shared with one bidder but not with others – and all bidders know what is required of them.
  • With limited exceptions, service providers and potential service providers cannot give gifts to applicants.
  • The value of free services (e.g., price reductions, promotional offers, free products) generally must be deducted from the pre-discount cost of services.

All Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and RFP documents must be attached to the FCC Form 470.

You can issue an RFP or similar document in addition to the FCC Form 470. We use "RFP" or "RFP document" generically to refer to any document you issue as part of the competitive bidding process that describes your project and requested services in more detail than in the fields provided on the FCC Form 470.

Generally, you are not required to issue an RFP unless your state or local procurement rules or regulations require you to do so, although RFPs are required for certain Category One services. All RFPs and RFP documents must be uploaded to your FCC Form 470 in EPC.

To upload an additional RFP document after you have certified your form:

  • From the FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests section of your landing page in EPC, use the search criteria provided to locate your form.
  • Click the form nickname to access your form.
  • From the Related Actions menu at the top of your form, choose Add an RFP Document.
  • Follow the prompts to upload the RFP document and indicate which of your service requests are covered by the document.
    Note: If you have more than five service requests, be sure to page through all of your service requests and identify every one that is covered by your document.
  • When you are finished, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Applicants must wait at least 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is certified.

You must wait at least 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is certified before you choose your service provider(s), sign a contract (if applicable), and certify the second program form, the FCC Form 471(Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form) in EPC.

  • As a reminder, your 28-day clock starts on the day your form is certified in EPC (even if it is certified at 11:59 p.m. EST) and runs out four weeks later on the same day of the week. For example, if you certify your FCC Form 470 on Friday, February 1, 2019, you can choose your service provider, sign a contract, and certify your FCC Form 471 as early as Friday, March 1, 2019.

February 27, 2019, is the last day that you can certify your FY2019 FCC Form 470 and still accomplish these tasks on March 27, 2019 before the filing window closes.

  • If you sign a contract, you must create a contract record in your profile in EPC for that contract before you can cite that contract on your FCC Form 471. The FCC Form 470 that you cite on your record must have been posted for at least 28 days.
  • On the FCC Form 471, you cannot cite an FCC Form 470 that has not been posted for at least 28 days.
  • Also on the FCC Form 471, you will be required to cite an FCC Form 470 that was posted for the same service type(s) as the service(s) you are requesting. The service types available on the FCC Form 470 are:
    • Internet Access and/or Telecommunications Services
    • Internal Connections
    • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
    • Managed Internal Broadband Services
  • If you are not sure which service type your services fall under, post your services under both applicable service types and put a note in the narrative in each FCC Form 470 service request that explains why you have posted for both service types.

Some changes may require the posting of a new FCC Form 470.

In general, if you are making one or more significant ("cardinal") changes that are outside the original scope of your competitive bid, you should file a new FCC Form 470. Service providers that are not interested in bidding on the services contained in the original scope of your project or services may be interested in bidding on your changed scope, and vice versa.

For certain changes, you MUST post a new FCC Form 470. Here are some examples:

  • You certified your FCC Form 470 without attaching any RFP documents, but have now issued an RFP document and need to attach it.
  • You did not post services for a service type, and now realize that you need to post for services in that service type.
  • Your state or locate competitive bidding rules and regulations require you to post a new form for the changes you want to make.

If your changes can fit into the description of your existing FCC Form 470 – and you attached at least one RFP document to your original form – you can add one or more RFP documents to provide information about the change(s) you want to make. However, if you post a new RFP document and your changes are significant, you must restart your 28-day clock.

We encourage you to post a new FCC Form 470 if you are making changes, just to avoid any confusion. If you attached an RFP document to your original form, you can attach a document noting the cancellation of that form and referring potential bidders to your new FCC Form 470.

For additional information on the competitive bidding process, review the guidance documents linked to the Applicant Process Step 1: Competitive Bidding on the USAC website. We have also posted the following resources in the Online Learning Library:


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