March 6, 2020

Funding Year (FY) 2020 FCC Form 471 Filing Window Countdown

The Funding Year (FY) 2020 application filing window is open. The filing window will close on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT.

Days to window close


FY2020 FCC Forms 471 filed


FCC Form 471 counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EST

Note, the last day to post an FCC Form 470 for FY2020 and still be able to timely certify an FCC Form 471 was Wednesday, February 26, 2020 (see January 3 SL News Brief). The count of FCC Forms 470 that were timely certified appears below.

FY2020 FCC Forms 470 timely certified


FCC Form 470 counts as of 11:59:59 p.m. EST on February 26, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don't wait until the last minute to file your FCC Form 471 for FY2020. If you have questions or need help with completing and certifying your form, please open a customer service case in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 for assistance so that you can get an early start.

Commitments for Funding Years 2019 and 2018

Funding Year 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 48 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on February 27 and Wave 49 on March 5. As of March 6, FY2019 commitments total over $2.24 billion.

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 85 FCDLs on February 27. (Note that Wave 84 was canceled and pending commitment decisions were moved to Wave 85.) As of March 6, FY2018 commitments total over $2.33 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).

FY2020 Category Two Budget Tool Demo

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, USAC will provide an office hour webinar on the FY2020 Category Two Budget Tool. We welcome E-rate participants of all experience levels to attend this training event. Click this link to register.

For this webinar, the recommended training materials are:

This office hour webinar will consist of a brief verbal summary of the online training materials followed by a demonstration of the FY2020 Category Two Budget Tool. After the demonstration, we will conduct a Q&A session to answer questions.

We recommend that participants review the suggested online training materials to help them formulate questions in advance. The majority of the session will be dedicated to Q&A, so please come prepared with your questions.

Retaining Competitive Bidding Documentation

All applicants and service providers are required to retain receipt and delivery records relating to pre-bidding, bidding, contracts, application process, invoices, provision of services, and other matters relating to the administration of universal service for a period of at least ten years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request.

Documents to retain as part of the competitive bidding process include but are not limited to:

  • The request for proposal (RFP), if one is issued, and any RFP documents.
  • Questions from potential bidders and your answers.
  • Copies of winning and losing bids (including disqualified bids).
  • The final bid evaluation matrix (or matrices, if you have multiple reviewers) and any supporting documentation.
  • If there is a restriction that prevents services and costs from being made public, a copy of the precise cite to the law, statue, local rule, or court order identifying the restriction.
  • The contract, if one is signed. 

Open Data Training Videos Posted

On November 3, 2017, USAC announced the first stage of its Open Data platform, which is designed to provide program data for all users in a clear and consistent format.

The Open Data platform consists of groups of data called "datasets." Each dataset contains fields of data that are related to each other in a specific way – for example, data fields for requests for services on all FCC Forms 470, or post-commitment data fields for all Funding Request Numbers (FRNs).

Users can view, search, filter, and manipulate the data in each dataset and extract that data in a variety of formats, including an API, and can also create customized views of the data.

Last fall, as part of our in-person applicant training sessions, we played a video that covered the basic features of Open Data, including how to search for and display information. We have now separated this larger video into four shorter videos, each dealing with a specific aspect of Open Data. These videos are located on the Videos page on the USAC website under the Open Data Platform heading.

  • Basic Information provides an overview of the datasets available and shows you how to create an account in Open Data. Creating an account allows you to save any reports or visualizations you create for later use. Those reports and visualizations will be updated automatically each evening with any changes that have occurred.
  • Create a Report shows you how to winnow the data from a large dataset to retrieve the specific data that are useful to you. You accomplish this by filtering (limiting the rows of data) and grouping (limiting the columns of data) so that you only have the data you want.
  • Create a Visualization allows you to determine how the data from a specific report can be displayed in a way that is visually appealing, such as a bar chart, a pie chart, or a graph.
  • Additional Resources covers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), release notes, video trainings, and other features on Open Data that can help you.

We will continue to post training materials and new datasets as they become available. We encourage you to explore the Open Data platform, perform searches, email questions to the dataset’s contact person, and provide feedback so we can continue to improve the user experience with this tool.

EPC Deployment News

Last weekend, we deployed the following changes to EPC:

Pending Inquiries Grid

For applicants and consultants, the Pending Inquiries grid on their landing page no longer shows pending inquiries where the response deadline has passed or a response is not required.

NOTE: In a future deployment, we will add pending inquiries where a response is not required but the applicant may wish to provide one, for example, the final modification or denial notice before we run a funding wave.

Former Account Administrator Notification

Former account administrators who no longer have account administrator permissions will now receive the validation message "You do not have Account Administrator privileges" when they try to take an action permitted by that role.


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