September 27, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: Monday, September 30, is the last day to request an extension for the delivery and installation of Funding Year (FY) 2018 non-recurring services. If you did not receive an automatic extension of this deadline from USAC and you need to request an extension, be sure to complete and certify an FCC Form 500 no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30.

Commitments for Funding Years 2019 and 2018

Funding Year 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 26 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on September 26. As of September 27, FY2019 commitments total over $1.79 billion.

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 61 FCDLs on September 16 and Wave 62 FCDLs on September 23. As of September 27, FY2018 commitments total over $2.21 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).

Registration Reminder for Fall Applicant Training

We still have space available for all remaining fall applicant training sessions. If you are interested in attending a session or need more information, you can refer to the 2019 Training page. Once you have chosen a session, you can click the blue Register Here button on this page to register.

The dates and locations of the remaining sessions are:

  • October 2 – 3 at Harper College, Palatine, IL
  • October 16 – 17 at Clark College, Vancouver, WA (morning Tribal session October 16)
  • October 22 – 23 at Raritan Valley Community College, North Branch, NJ
  • October 31 – November 1 at California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
  • November 13 – 14 at Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center, Atlanta, GA
  • November 19 at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK (Tribal one-day session)
  • November 21 at San Juan College, Farmington, NM (Tribal one-day session)

Please note that the Atlanta training session was inadvertently omitted from the announcement in last week's SL News Brief.

Changes to the Online BEAR Form

Earlier this week, we made a few changes to the online FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form). The pages that were removed as part of these changes contained outdated or incorrect information.

Here is a summary of the changes:

  • The Need Help? drop-down menu has been removed from the upper right-hand corner of each page of the form.
  • The links to the pages associated with the options in the Need Help? drop-down menu – Form 472 Help, Using Online BEAR, and USAC's Outreach and Training Website – have been disabled, and all three pages have been removed from the website.
  • The blue Need Help? buttons that appeared at the top of each section of the form have been removed.
  • "RFN" has been corrected to "FRN" wherever it appeared.

For assistance with the online BEAR Form, you can refer to the following resources that continue to be available on the USAC website:

  • The FCC Form 472 Filing web page contains information on how and when to file the form along with links to other pertinent information.
  • The FCC Form 472 (BEAR) User Guide contains a step-by-step description of how to complete and certify the form, with screenshots to illustrate each step. The guide will be revised in the near future with updated screen shots that include the changes described above.
  • The FCC Form 472 BEAR Form video is a recorded demonstration of a filer completing a BEAR Form online. The video will be re-recorded in the near future to include the changes described above.
  • The BEAR Training Site page contains a description of the BEAR Training Site and the data necessary to practice or to train others by using this site.

Reminders for the Upcoming Invoice Deadline

October 28, 2019 is the deadline to file an invoice or to request an invoice deadline extension for most FY2018 recurring service Funding Request Numbers (FRNs). This invoice deadline applies to both applicant and service provider invoices.

In last week's SL News Brief, we provided specific information on the steps necessary to complete your invoicing activities by this deadline, or to ask for an extension if you feel you may not be ready to meet the deadline. Please refer to that issue for more details on the reminders listed below.

1. Applicants and service providers should review the list of prerequisites for filing an invoice and make sure all of them are in place.

Before USAC can process invoices, the following must have occurred:

  • USAC issued an FCDL to the applicant and service provider with a positive commitment.
  • The applicant certified – and USAC approved – an FCC Form 486 to establish the service start date for the approved FRNs.
  • The service provider certified an FCC Form 473 (SPAC Form) for each Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) that will be featured on an invoice form.

For applicants submitting BEAR Forms, there are two additional requirements:

  • The applicant certified – and USAC has approved – an FCC Form 498.
  • The applicant already has (or has requested and received) a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to access the online BEAR Form. 

2. Applicants and service providers who have an approved FCC Form 498 should review the information on the form for accuracy.

Inaccurate information – especially inaccurate bank account information – may delay the processing of your invoice and/or electronic payment on that invoice.

3. Applicants who intend to file BEAR Forms but do not have an approved FCC Form 498 on file with USAC should complete and certify an FCC Form 498 as soon as possible.

This form is filed in EPC. After you have completed and certified this form, you must provide proof of your banking information. You can upload this information after you have certified the form so that USAC can review and approve it.

Remember that applicants who rely solely on the SPI method of invoicing do not need to file an FCC Form 498.

For assistance in filing and certifying this form, you can call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100. You can also review the August 2 SL News Brief.

4. Applicants who intend to file BEAR Forms but do not have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) should request one as soon as possible.

Applicants request a PIN by filing a customer service case in EPC and uploading a completed PIN Request Template to the case. You should receive your PIN within two weeks.

For more information about PINs, you can call CSB. You can also review the August 23 SL News Brief and the PIN page on the USAC website.

5. Applicants and service providers should request an invoice deadline extension if they feel they may not be ready to complete the process of invoicing USAC for their FY2018 recurring services.

If there is a chance that you will not be able to complete your invoices by the October 28 deadline, request an invoice deadline extension now. There is no penalty for requesting an invoice deadline extension and not using it. However, if you miss this deadline and have not certified an invoice, you will have to request and receive a waiver of this deadline from the FCC before USAC can process your invoice.

Both applicants and service providers can request an invoice deadline extension in EPC as follows:

  • Access your entity's profile record (not the landing page) in EPC.
  • Select the Related Actions menu.
  • Choose Invoice Deadline Date Extension Request.
  • Enter the FRN(s) you would like to extend, separated by commas.
  • Click the Check Eligibility button. All of the FRNs from your list that can be extended will appear on a grid.
  • Click Submit.
  • Review the resulting News post for the results.

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