December 2, 2019

SERVICE PROVIDERS: Multifactor Authentication and Single Portal Dashboard for the E-File System

USAC has begun the process of adding multifactor authentication (MFA) to increase the security of Universal Service Fund (USF) IT applications. MFA is a method of authenticating a computer user during the login process by requiring the user to enter two or more separate pieces of information, such as a password and a separate code obtained on a second electronic device.

MFA helps safeguard access to data and applications, and provides additional security by requiring a second form of user authentication. This complies with both Federal and FCC information security guidelines.

What this means for you

  • MFA will be required for service providers to access the E-File system starting December 4. At that time, USAC will provide instructions on how to set up a second required factor for user authentication.
  • MFA will not be implemented or required for the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) until after the close of the Funding Year (FY) 2020 application filing window. Details about MFA for EPC users will be provided in the spring of 2020 in advance of the implementation of the MFA requirement for EPC.
  • In the future, USAC will launch a single portal dashboard so that all users can sign in with their MFA credentials and access all of their USF IT applications through the same sign-on process.

How this affects E-rate service providers

On December 4, USAC will move the FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, to the E-File system. Service providers will need an E-File username and password to access, complete, and certify the form. The FCC Form 474 (SPI Form) will be added to the E-File menu that already provides access to the FCC Form 472 BEAR search tool, the FCC Form 473 (SPAC Form), the FCC Form 498 for service providers, and the legacy Online Item 21 in the E-File system.

Service provider company officers and general contacts have the ability to create new users, so we encourage you to contact them if you file invoices online but do not currently have access to the E-File system.

  • This change will not apply to service provider users who file electronic invoices (E-SPIs). These filers will continue to use the current electronic invoice submission process.

To prepare for this change, service provider users should confirm that the email and password on their USF accounts are up-to-date and that each user has a unique login for the E-File system. If you need to update your USF accounts, please work with your organization's USF system administrator to make any changes.

Users whose login information is up-to-date do not need to do anything more until they receive MFA log in instructions from USAC on December 4.


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