May 10, 2019 

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you missed the service provider webinar on FCC Forms 498 and 499, you can click the link you used to register for the webinar in order to view a recording. For those of you who did not register, you can register now and then access the recording.

Commitments for Funding Year 2019

Funding Year (FY) 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 3 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on May 10. As of May 10, FY2019 commitments total over $672 million.

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).

New Tool to Search for Your FCC Form 498 Status

We have created a new tool for applicants to check on the status of their FCC Form 498. You will find the Search for 498 ID Status tool on the Tools page on the USAC website under the heading BENs, 498 IDs, and SPINs.

To use the Search for 498 ID Status tool, enter your FCC Form 498 ID (498 ID) on the first page and click the Search button. Remember, your nine-digit 498 ID starting with "443-" is assigned to you during the FCC Form 498 filing process.

  • If the status of your form is "Approved," USAC has reviewed and approved your documentation and you can file an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form. Your 498 ID will appear at the top of the form after you log in with your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • If the status of your Form is "Certified," check to make sure you have uploaded proof of your bank account. We have provided a link to submit that information if you have not already done so.

Reminder: Webinar on FCC Form 486 and CIPA

Join us on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 for our webinar on the FCC Form 486 and the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). In this webinar, we will explain the purpose of the form, when to file the form, and the consequences of filing the form late. We will also cover CIPA compliance and the FCC Form 479 filing requirement for consortium members. Click here to register.

Filing FCC Form 486

After applicants have received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment and services have started for the funding year, they must file an FCC Form 486 to accomplish the following:

  • To notify USAC that services have started and USAC can process invoices. NOTE: Service providers must also file FCC Form 473, the Service Provider Annual Certification Form, for the funding year before USAC can pay invoices.
  • To certify the status of compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Consortium members

For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of CIPA, recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf.

The FCC Form 479 provides the information necessary for the Billed Entity to complete the appropriate CIPA certification(s) and successfully submit the FCC Form 486.

Filing FCC Form 486 in EPC

Here are a few tips for those of you who are getting ready to file this form:

1. Check the Early Filing box if you are filing early.

To be eligible for early filing, you must have:

  • Received an FCDL with a positive commitment on or before July 31 of the funding year.
  • Verified with your service provider that your services will start in the month of July.
  • Be able to accurately make all of the relevant certifications on the form as of the date that your services start.

2. Do not check the CIPA Waiver box unless you are eligible for a CIPA waiver. 

To be eligible for a CIPA waiver in your second funding year, you must be unable to make the certifications required by CIPA because your state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the making the certification(s) otherwise required. You should not check this waiver just because you are not yet in compliance with the requirements of CIPA.

To complete the form correctly, ensure that your entity is in compliance with the requirements of CIPA and then report your service start date as the first date you were in compliance with CIPA.

For a detailed description of the requirements of CIPA, refer to the CIPA guidance page on the USAC website.

3. Choose only the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that you are ready to file.

When you start the FCC Form 486 in EPC and choose a funding year, the system will present you with a list of the funded FRNs from all of the FCC Forms 471 you filed for the funding year.

You may not be ready to certify an FCC Form 486 for all of your FRNs. For example, services may have started for some FRNs but not for others.

After you start your first FCC Form 486, choose the FRNs that you want to appear on the form by checking the box to the left of each FRN on the list. Then click the button marked Add (x) FRNs, where (x) represents the total number of FRNs you have chosen. Your chosen list of FRNs will then appear below the complete list of FRNs in the Selected FRNs section.

You can also remove FRNs that you have chosen in error by checking the box to the left of each FRN to be removed and then choosing the Remove (x) FRNs button.

4. Modify the service start date(s) if necessary.

In EPC, we preserve the service start date you entered on your FCC Form 471 for each FRN. However, your situation may have changed since you certified your FCC Form 471, and you now need to report a different date as the actual service start date.

In the Service Information section of the form, you will see the FRNs you have chosen together with the service start dates you reported on the FCC Form 471. For each FRN with an incorrect service start date, select that FRN and enter the correct service start date in the field provided.

5. Choose the correct CIPA certification based on your situation.

The overwhelming majority of applicants must be compliant with the requirements of CIPA in their second funding year.

  • Do not indicate that you are working toward compliance if your first funding year has already been established.
  • Do not indicate that CIPA does not apply if you are requesting funding for internet services and/or Category Two services.
  • If you are a consortium or other entity that makes the appropriate CIPA certification(s) on behalf of its members, be sure to collect FCC Forms 479 from all of your members before certifying the FCC Form 486.

6. Review your form carefully before you certify it.

If we find incorrect or inconsistent information on your certified form, we will have to review your form and, in consultation with you, correct your form before we can approve it.

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