March 15, 2019

Funding Year (FY) 2019 Window Countdown
(Form counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EST)

Days to window close


FY2019 FCC Forms 470 filed


FY2019 FCC Forms 471 filed



TIP OF THE WEEK: The FCC Form 471 application filing window for FY2019 will close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Plan now to complete the actions necessary to timely file your FCC Form 471 before this deadline.

Commitments for Funding Year 2018

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 49 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 15. As of March 15, FY2018 commitments total over $2.18 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).

CSB Hours During the Last Week of the Filing Window

While we encourage applicants to complete and certify their FCC Form 471 early, we realize that last-minute questions can arise. We are publishing the extra hours the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open during the last week of the window to allow applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to get answers to those last-minute questions.

CSB's regular hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to those times, CSB will be open:

Date CSB Open CSB Close
Saturday, March 23 9:00 AM EDT   5:00 PM EDT
Sunday, March 24 9:00 AM EDT   5:00 PM EDT
Monday, March 25 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Tuesday, March 26 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 27 8:00 AM EDT 12:30 AM EDT (Thursday, March 28)

Generally, CSB has the highest call volumes during noon to 4:00 p.m. EDT. If an agent is not able to answer when you call, please open a customer service case in EPC and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Contract Reminders Related to Filing FCC Form 471

Below are some reminders about contracts for applicants who have not yet filed an FCC Form 471 for FY2019. Remember that the application filing window closes at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Contract details are entered in a contract record in your profile

If you are receiving services under a contract, you must create a contract record in your organization's profile in EPC for that contract. You then cite that contract record when you create a funding request on the FCC Form 471 for services provided under that contract.

You do not necessarily need to create a new contract record if you have a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions.

  • For a multi-year contract, search for the contract record when prompted to do so in the form.
  • For a contract with voluntary extensions, work with your service provider to exercise the extension, cite the existing contract record and then indicate the expiration date of the extension in the form.

Services provided under a contract are considered contracted services

If you sign a contract – even for services that are provided under a tariff – we consider those services to be contracted services. Before you file your FCC Form 471, create a contract record for your contract in your profile so that you can cite that contract on your form.

Services provided without a contract – generally, services provided under tariff or on a month-to-month basis – must be rebid each year. In other words, to receive discounts on these services, you must certify an FCC Form 470 for that funding year, run a competitive bidding process, evaluate the bids received, and choose the most cost-effective solution.

How to create a contract record for pre-existing contracts

If you considered a pre-existing contract (a contract signed before the posting of an FCC Form 470) as a bid response to your FY2019 FCC Form 470, you can evaluate that contract along with the other bids you receive. When you perform your bid evaluation, you can choose your pre-existing contract as the winning bid if it is the most cost-effective solution.

In this situation, when you create your contract record in EPC, enter the date you decided to stay with your current contract as your contract award date. This date must be at least 28 days after you posted your FCC Form 470.

For state master contracts, cite to the correct FCC Form 470 on your funding request

Applicants who are eligible to purchase services from a state master contract must cite the correct FCC Form 470 on their FCC Form 471 funding request. The four most common situations are:

  • The state posted an FCC Form 470 and chose a single winner. The applicant cites the state's FCC Form 470.
  • The state posted an FCC Form 470 and chose more than one winner. The applicant must conduct a mini-bid to choose the most cost-effective solution from among the winners that can provide service. The applicant cites the state's FCC Form 470.
  • The applicant posted an FCC Form 470 and chose a state master contract to consider as a bid response. The applicant must also consider ALL other state master contracts that can provide the services as bid responses along with any other bids received, and choose the most cost-effective solution. The applicant cites its own FCC Form 470, even if the state also posted an FCC Form 470.
  • The applicant posted an FCC Form 470 and received a bid response from a service provider who already has a contract with the state. The applicant can consider that bid response with any other bids received, but does not have to include other state contracts in its evaluation. The applicant cites its own FCC Form 470, even if the state also posted an FCC Form 470.

To be eligible for discounts, state replacement contracts must comply with all of the state replacement contract requirements

We refer to a state replacement contract as a state master contract that replaces another state master contract sometime after the application filing window closes. The entries on the FCC Form 471 will differ, depending on when the original contract expires:

  • If the original contract expires before the funding year starts – in other words, you will only be receiving service under the state replacement contract, refer to Scenario A in the state replacement contract guidance.
  • If the original contract expires after the funding year starts – in other words, you will be receiving service under the original contract for part of the funding year and under the replacement contract for part of the funding year – refer to Scenario B in the state replacement contract guidance.

The original state master contract must have been signed pursuant to an FCC Form 470 filed by the state, and the applicant must cite to that FCC Form 470 on its FCC Form 471. (Note that the state must also post a new FCC Form 470 to open the competitive bidding process at the appropriate time for the replacement contract.) It is very important that the state review and follow all the steps in the State Replacement Contract guidance on the USAC website so that the services under the state replacement contract will be eligible for discounts.

Licenses, Modules, and Transceivers

On the FY2018 FCC Forms 471, licenses, modules, and transceivers were the three most common entries provided by users in the details for the drop-down "Other." To assist applicants, the FY2019 FCC Form 471 includes a separate drop-down for each of these Category Two options.


A license is an agreement between the manufacturer (or reseller) and the purchaser of software or a piece of equipment to use that software or equipment in a particular way or ways for a specified period of time. Licenses can vary greatly in terms of what they cover and how they are used.

Licenses can be either Internal Connections or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections, depending on their function.

  • An internal connections license is software that allows the eligible internal connections equipment to function and distribute high-speed broadband throughout school buildings and libraries. For example, although you may pay once to purchase a wireless access point (WAP), you may need to pay an annual fee to the manufacturer to allow you to use the WAP. The annual fee is the internal connections license (e.g., right-to-use software or client access licenses).
  • A basic maintenance license includes software upgrades and patches, including bug fixes and security patches, as well as technical support. For example, after purchasing a switch, you may need to pay a separate annual fee to be able to download software updates and get technical support for the device.


Networking modules are pieces of hardware that are usually installed in an existing switch or router. Because they are portable, modules can be used in a variety of systems and act as an adapter to connect one piece of networking equipment to another. A common example of a networking module would be an optical module, which could make the switch work with a fiber connection that would transmit data within a network.


A transceiver is a device that both transmits and receives data. Transceivers are attached to switches and routers, and pass information across a network. For example, an optical transceiver is a combination transmitter/receiver in a single package that transmits and receives data using optical fiber.

Reminder on Responding to FRN Balance Verifications

In last week's SL News Brief, we discussed the balance verifications ("confirmations") being sent to applicants and service providers pursuant to USAC's annual Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP) audit. If you receive a balance verification, please review your records and respond by either:

  • Agreeing with the balance featured on the confirmation or
  • If it is different, noting the balance as of October 31, 2018 on your records and explaining how you determined that balance.

Balance verifications are being sent from Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive one.


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