January 3, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: The FY2020 FCC Form 471 application filing window will open at noon EST on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 and close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Keep in mind that the last day to post an FCC Form 470 for FY2020 and still be able to timely certify an FCC Form 471 is Wednesday, February 26, 2020 (see below).

Commitments for Funding Years 2019 and 2018

Funding Year 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 39 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on December 27, 2019 and Wave 40 FCDLs on January 2. As of January 3, FY2019 commitments total over $2.10 billion.

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 75 FCDLs on December 23, 2019. As of January 3, FY2018 commitments total over $2.26 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).

FCC Form 470 Reminders

Although the FCC Form 470 for FY2020 has been available since July 1, 2019, we realize that some applicants have not yet posted their forms or started their competitive bidding processes. We are providing a few reminders below for these applicants well in advance of the February 26 deadline for posting the FCC Form 470.

If you have questions or need more information about any of the information below, you can open a customer service case in EPC or call our Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

Applicants certify an FCC Form 470 to open their competitive bidding process.

Competitive bidding is a formal process to identify and request the products and services you need so that potential service providers can review your requests and submit bids in response. You list these products and services on the FCC Form 470 and then post the form to the USAC website.

  • You are responsible for ensuring that the competitive bidding process is open and fair.
  • You must wait at least 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you select a service provider, sign a contract, and certify an FCC Form 471.

The FCC Form 470 must be filed online in EPC.

In order to start an FCC Form 470, you must be an authorized user in EPC for your entity. Partial-rights and full-rights users can complete the required information on the form, but you must be a full-rights user to certify the form.

You can contact your entity's EPC account administrator to be created as a user or to change your user rights.

Some information must be completed in your organization's profile in EPC before you can file a program form.

Your entity information – including address and contact information, attributes for the schools in a school district or libraries in a library system, and other pertinent data – is pulled into program forms that you file from your organization's profile in EPC. You should review this information for accuracy and make any necessary changes before you file your form.

If you issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or RFP documents, they must be uploaded to the FCC Form 470.

If you are issuing an RFP or one or more RFP documents, you are required to upload those documents to your FCC Form 470. We use "RFP" and "RFP document" generically to refer to any bidding document that describes your project and requested services in more detail than that provided in the data entry fields on the FCC Form 470.

In addition, RFP documents issued AFTER an FCC Form 470 is certified MUST be uploaded to that certified FCC Form 470. Note that you cannot upload a document to an FCC Form 470 after it is certified unless you uploaded at least one document to the form before you certified it.

As with the FCC Form 470, if you issue or intend to issue an RFP, the RFP must also be posted for at least 28 days (see above).

You will receive a Receipt Notification Letter in your EPC News feed shortly after you certify your form, and service providers will be able to view your form and all uploaded attachments.

Within a few minutes of certification, USAC will issue your FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) under the News tab in your EPC account.

EPC has a search and download function that will allow service providers with EPC accounts to search for certified FCC Forms 470. Also, anyone – even a service provider who does not have an EPC account – will be able to view a PDF version of your form and its associated RFP documents using the View an FCC Form 470 tool on the Tools page on the USAC website. 

For more information on the FCC Form 470 and the competitive bidding process, you can review Step 1: Competitive Bidding and the various guidance documents linked to this page on the USAC website. 

EPC Deployment News

The following features have been deployed to EPC:

Pending inquiries grids on EPC landing pages

  • From the new Pending Inquiries list on their EPC landing page, applicants can sort and review pending inquiries by funding commitments or post-commitment request types using the Type column.
  • The Application/Request Filter field on the Pending Inquiries list allows you to search by application ID, request ID, or nickname.
  • Consultants also have a Pending Inquiries list on their landing page that contains information on pending inquiries for their clients in a grid format.
    • The grid for consultants is collapsed by default, because it may contain a large number of entries that could take some time to load. To view pending inquiries, the user must select at least one search criterion.
    • The grid contains an additional filter (BEN) and two additional grid columns (BEN and Type).
  • State coordinators will have a Pending Inquiries grid added to their landing page in the near future. This grid will show pending inquiries from the public schools and/or public libraries in their state, depending on their state coordinator role.

NOTE: We have recently become aware that some pending inquiries are showing on applicant and consultant landing pages when in fact the response deadline for those inquiries has already passed. We are working to limit the display to only those inquiries that actually require a response. Until we can complete this work, make sure the date in the Due Date column for an inquiry is today's date or a date in the future before you start working on a response.

Manual input option for county designations

When a user updates an entity address or creates and/or updates an annex address, EPC will automatically populate the county associated with that address. However, if EPC chooses the wrong county or no county, the user now has the option to provide the correct county name.

If the administrative window has already closed and you need to update your county name, you can open a customer service case or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

Updating Account Administrators in EPC

Some applicants who intend to update their profiles in EPC during the current administrative window have realized that they do not have an active EPC account administrator and cannot perform their updates. If you are in this situation, please follow the guidance below.

If your current account administrator is leaving or changing responsibilities and another employee will take over their duties, the current account administrator can assign those duties to the employee by using the Modify Account Administrator function in EPC. To see a demonstration, go the Videos page on the USAC website and play the "Modify Your Account Administrator" video located under the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) header.

If your account administrator is no longer available, you will need to draft a written request on your entity's letterhead that includes the following information:

  • Billed entity number
  • New account administrator's name
  • New account administrator's job title
  • New account administrator's street address
  • New account administrator's phone number
  • New account administrator's email address. This email address cannot contain a consultant's name or consultant's email domain.
  • A brief statement that the current account administrator is absent or no longer with the entity.
  • Signature of new account administrator.

If you have an EPC user account, you can attach this request to an EPC customer service case. If you do not have an EPC account, you can call CSB at (888) 203-8100 for assistance and for instructions on submitting your written request by email. Note that you must be an employee of the applicant to assume the account administrator role.

  • If you are already a user on your entity's EPC account, CSB can assign the account administrator role to you.
  • If you are not a user on your entity's EPC account, CSB must first create you as a user on the account. After you have established your username and password and accepted the Terms and Conditions for using EPC, CSB can then assign the account administrator role to you. To see a demonstration of how to log in to EPC for the first time, go the Videos page on the USAC website and play the "Logging in for the First Time" video located under the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) header.

To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2020, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005