July 19, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you missed the July 17 office hour webinar on the FCC Form 470 and the competitive bidding process, you can watch a recording of the webinar by logging in. You can also register for the August 21 webinar on the E-rate invoicing process.

Commitments for Funding Year 2019

Funding Year 2019. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2019 Wave 13 on July 18. As of July 19, FY2019 commitments total over $1.13 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).

NPRM Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines Established

The NPRM on Category Two budgets (FCC 19-58, released July 9, 2019) was published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2019. Comments are due on or before August 16, 2019, and reply comments are due on or before September 3, 2019. To submit comments, follow the instructions in the Filing Comments and Reply Comments paragraph in the NPRM.

EPC Training Site Update and Funding Year Schedule

Trainers and other program participants can use USAC's EPC training site to practice filing forms, learn how to navigate the system, and train new users – all without affecting your actual information and settings in the EPC production site. Remember that forms filed on this site are for practice only. They will not be submitted to or reviewed by USAC.

To use the training site, you will need login credentials for yourself and anyone you may be training. You can do this by completing the EPC Training Site Request Form. After we process your request, we will send an email with the appropriate username(s) and password(s) to access the system. You can then use the Entity Profile Set-Up instructions to set up your profile(s).

There are currently four types of full-rights user accounts you can request in the training environment – independent schools, independent libraries, school districts, and library systems.

At this time, the training site only supports filing FCC Forms 470 and 471. We are in the process of expanding the offerings on the training site to include the following:

  • Consortia. Each consortium that we create will have twelve members – three school districts, three library systems, three independent schools, and three independent libraries. If you request a consortium login, you will also receive logins for the consortium members for any additional setup activities that may be required.
  • FCC Form 486 filers. We are also creating independent schools and independent libraries that will each have five committed FY2019 Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for a Category One FCC Form 471 and five committed FRNs for a Category Two FCC Form 471. You will be able to demonstrate filing an FCC Form 486 for one or more of these FRNs.

Creating these two types of entities will take some time to accomplish. We will provide an update in an upcoming SL News Brief when we are ready to start accepting requests for these training accounts. In addition, because we are using the most recent funding year for which FCC Forms 486 can be filed (FY2019) to create the FRNs, we must periodically reset the training site to FY2019 to accomplish this.

Starting today, the training site will be reset to FY2019 each week from 9:00 a.m. EDT Friday morning to 9:00 a.m. EDT Monday morning until further notice. When we are not working on creating FCC Form 486 filers, the training site will be reset to FY2020. If you would like to conduct training or practice filing FY2020 FCC Forms 470, please schedule your training activities for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

In the future, as we run low on FCC Form 486 filer accounts, we will periodically have to reset the training site to FY2019 to create more filer accounts. We will provide as much notice as we can when this becomes necessary.

For more information on using the training site with the functionality that is currently available, you can refer to the EPC Training Site page on the USAC website.

Notes on Upcoming System Modifications

This weekend, we will make two system modifications based on suggestions we received from our stakeholders. Here are the details of the modifications:

  • On the home page of the online BEAR Form, users will see the message "To submit a new Form 472 BEAR, select 'New BEAR Form' from the menu options above." instead of the less helpful message "No Incomplete Invoices are associated with this PIN."
  • Applicants who use the EPC bulk upload functionality for the FY2020 FCC Form 471 will be able to enter line items for Category Two FRNs for Internal Connections even when the line item cost is less than $1.00.

To share your ideas on system improvements or enhancements, follow the link to the Share Your E-rate Technical System Ideas feedback document in last week's SL News Brief.


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