August 9, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: SERVICE PROVIDERS: Be sure to file your FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form for Funding Year (FY) 2019 if you have not already done so. For more information on how to file, refer to last week's SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Year 2019

Funding Year 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 16 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on August 8. As of August 9, FY2019 commitments total over $1.33 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).

Coming Monday, August 12: Update FCC Form 498 With Business Type(s) and DUNS Number

On Monday, August 12, E-rate participants will receive an email from USAC with instructions to update your company's (your organization's) business type(s) and DUNS Number on the FCC Form 498 in EPC. The updated form will not be live in EPC until Monday.

You can select up to three business types that best describe your company. If you have not added your company's DUNS Number to EPC, you will need to add it. If you do not know your company's DUNS Number, you can look it up online. If you do not have a DUNS number, and you are U.S. government contractor or grantee, you can request a DUNS Number without charge. While a General Financial Contact can update the FCC Form 498 with business type(s), a School or Library Official must certify the form to complete the entry.

USAC must collect this information to comply with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act).

EPC Deployment News - Entity Conversions

This weekend, we will be implementing some new procedures around changing one entity type to another in EPC. There are three general updates for you to review:

  • Changes for an individual school or library from dependent (part of a school district or library system) to independent (acting on its own) and vice versa are allowable and can be requested and processed.
  • For other entity-type change requests, the entity must obtain a new Billed Entity Number (BEN).
  • Going forward, entities that make a change from independent to dependent will retain their independent status for the funding year(s) in which they were independent.

Dependent/independent changes for individual schools and libraries

  • An independent school (a school that is not part of a school district and that controls its own administration and finances) can be changed to a dependent school (a school that is part of a school district) and vice versa.
  • An independent library (a library that is not part of a library system and that controls its own administration and finances) can be changed to a dependent library (a library that is part of a library system) and vice versa.

You can request these changes by opening a customer service case in EPC or by calling the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100. We will request certain information from you and we will then be able to make the change.

Entity changes that require a new entity number

For all other types of entity changes, you must obtain a new entity number for the entity. For example:

  • If we receive a request to change a school district to a consortium, we will keep the school district BEN with the school district and ask for the information we need to create a BEN for the consortium. (We suggest that you not deactivate the school district BEN until all of the invoicing activities under that BEN have been completed.)
  • If we receive a request to change a dependent library to a non-instructional facility (NIF), we will keep the dependent library entity number with the dependent library and the appropriate library system must provide the information we need to create an entity number for the NIF.
  • If we receive a request to change a library NIF to a library system, we will keep the library NIF entity number with the NIF and ask for the information we need to create a library system BEN.

We realize that some entities that have requested entity-type changes in the past have been blocked from completing these changes due to system limitations. We will address each of these cases individually.

Maintaining independent status for earlier funding years

Entities that change status from independent to dependent after this deployment will retain their independent status for the purpose of taking appropriate post-commitment actions. In other words, these entities will be able to file FCC Forms 486 and 500, invoices, appeals, SPIN changes, service substitutions, and other post-commitment actions for the funding years in which they were independent.

For these entities, the options to request these post-commitment actions and changes will appear in their entity profile, even though that profile appears under that of their current parent entity.

We are working on a separate project to cover entities who changed status from independent to dependent BEFORE this deployment. We will provide an update on this project when we have more information.

EPC Deployment News - Current Version of FY2019 FCC Forms 471

This weekend, we will also be deploying a current version option for the FCC Form 471 for FY2019. Both the original and current versions are produced in a PDF format.

  • The original version displays the data on the form at the time the applicant certified the form. This version will not change.
  • The current version will display the net result of all changes to the data on the form since the form was committed. In other words, changes due to approved Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modifications, PIA review, FCC Form 486 review, appeals, SPIN changes, service substitutions, and other post-commitment actions will be reflected in the current version.

To generate the current version of an FCC Form 471:

  • Access your form. You can search for your FY2019 FCC Form 471 in the FCC Forms section at the bottom of your organization's landing page in EPC or by clicking the "FCC Forms 471" link under the Actions tab at the top of any page.
  • Go to the section labeled FCC Form 471 Generated Documents at the bottom of the form and click the "DOWNLOAD CURRENT PDF" button.
  • You will then see a two-column table. The first column will contain links to the original version and the current version, and the second column will contain some explanatory text. Click the link for the current version to see a PDF of the FCC Form 471 with the most current data.
  • Note that the description in the table to the right of the current version will include the date and time the current version was created.

Please keep the following in mind:

The current version option will only be available for FCC Forms 471 certified for FY2019 and FUTURE funding years. An FCC Form 471 that has already been included in an FY2019 wave will feature a current version option – as will FY2019 forms that are included in subsequent waves. FCC Forms 471 for FY2018 and previous funding years will not include a current version of the form.

The current version will not be available before the form is included in a commitment wave. RAL modifications and changes that occur during PIA review will not be visible before the form goes through the commitment process.

When you generate a current version, that version will NOT be updated automatically with any subsequent changes. If there are changes to the data on the form, you must regenerate the current version (i.e., click the "UPDATE CURRENT PDF" button) to see them.

Earlier PDFs of the current version are not stored. When you click "UPDATE CURRENT PDF," the current version you generated the last time will be replaced by a new current version that shows the net result of all changes up to that moment. (If you want to view, download, or print the earlier version first, click the link to the current version instead of clicking the "UPDATE CURRENT PDF" button.) To preserve a record of each change individually, you must download or print a current version after each time a change occurs.

The current version link expires about two months after you first generate it. The link to the current version will disappear unless you or another user on your account has viewed it at some point during the two-month time period after it was first generated. However, if the link has expired, you can always generate a new current version (and restore the link) by clicking the "DOWNLOAD CURRENT PDF" button.

The FRN Status Tool and the Open Data Platform will NOT have a link to the current version of the form. These tools continue to provide a link to the original version, which never changes, but not to the current version, which may change many times. However, data contained in the FRN Status Tool and the Open Data Platform will continue to be updated with any commitment and post-commitment changes.

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