June 5, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: If your FCC Form 471 is still in review and you find you made a mistake on your form, you can submit a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification to request a correction. For a step-by-step description of how to file a RAL modification, please refer to the February 14 SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 5 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 4. As of June 5, FY2020 commitments total over $856 million.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 61 on June 4. As of June 5, FY2019 commitments total over $2.36 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).

Filing FCC Form 486

Here are a few tips for those of you who are getting ready to file the FCC Form 486 in EPC:

1. Check the Early Filing box if you are filing early.

Generally, applicants file the FCC Form 486 after services have started. To be eligible for early filing, you must:

  • have received an FCDL with a positive commitment,
  • have verified with your service provider that your services will start in the month of July, and
  • be able to accurately make all of the relevant certifications on the form as of the date that your services start.

2. Do not check the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Waiver box unless you are actually eligible for a CIPA waiver.

To be eligible for a CIPA waiver in your second funding year, you must be unable to make the certifications required by CIPA because your state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent making the certification(s) otherwise required. You should not check this waiver just because you are not yet in compliance with the requirements of CIPA.

For a detailed description of the requirements of CIPA, you can refer to the CIPA page on the USAC website.

3. Choose only the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that you are ready to file.

When you start the FCC Form 486 in EPC and choose a funding year, EPC provides a list of all the FRNs for which USAC has issued positive commitments. You can then choose the FRNs from that list to feature on your form.

  • Note that you may not be ready to include all of your FRNs on this form. For example, July 1 may be the service start date for some FRNs, but you are not yet sure what the service start date will be for other FRNs.

To compile your list, check the box to the left of each FRN that you want to add, then click the button marked Add (x) FRNs. (The (x) represents the total number of FRNs you have chosen.) Your list of chosen FRNs will then appear below the complete list of FRNs in the Selected FRNs section.

You can also remove any FRNs that you have chosen in error. To do this, check the box to the left of each FRN that you want to remove from your chosen list and then click the Remove (x) FRNs button.

4. Modify the service start date(s) if necessary.

In EPC, we show you the service start date you entered on your FCC Form 471 for each FRN. However, your situation may have changed since you certified your FCC Form 471, and you now need to report a different date as the actual service start date.

In the Service Information section of the form, you will see the FRNs you have chosen, together with the service start dates you reported on the FCC Form 471. For each FRN with an incorrect service start date, select that FRN and enter the correct service start date in the field provided.

5. Choose the correct CIPA certification based on your situation.

Most schools and libraries must be compliant with the requirements of CIPA in their second funding year.

  • Do not indicate that you are working toward compliance if your first funding year has already been established.
  • Do not indicate that CIPA does not apply if you are requesting funding for internet services and/or Category Two services.
  • If you are a consortium or other entity that makes the appropriate CIPA certification(s) on behalf of its members, be sure to collect FCC Form 479 from each of your members before completing the appropriate certifications on the FCC Form 486.

For a detailed description of the requirements of CIPA, you can refer to the CIPA page on the USAC website.

6. Review your form carefully before you certify it.

If we find incorrect or inconsistent information on your certified form, we will have to review your form and, in consultation with you, correct your form before we can approve it.

Reminders on the COMAD Process

Applicants and service providers: If USAC notifies you that you must return program funds and you fail to do so, your FY2020 funding could be adversely affected.

Here is how the process works:

  • When a program rule violation occurs and USAC must recover funds as a result, USAC will issue you a Commitment Adjustment (COMAD) Letter or Recover of Improperly Disbursed Funds (RIDF) Letter. This letter will appear in your EPC News feed and in the Notifications section of your landing page. It will provide details on the reason for the recovery and the recovery amount. You can appeal this decision to USAC. (Remember that the deadline to file an appeal is now doubled to 120 days after the date of the USAC decision for program participants whose 60-day filing deadline would ordinarily fall between March 11, 2020 and September 30, 2020, per FCC Order DA 20-364.)
  • If the COMAD or RIDF Letter is not appealed within the appeal filing deadline, USAC will issue you a First Demand Payment Letter requesting repayment.
  • If the debt has not been paid within 30 days of the First Demand Payment Letter, USAC will issue a Second Demand Payment Letter. Your entity will be placed on Red Light status as of the date of the second letter.
    • Applicants - If the debt has not been paid within 30 days of the date of the Second Demand Payment Letter, your pending E-rate applications may be dismissed along with any pending appeals.
    • Applicants and service providers - If the debt has not been paid within 30 days of the date of the Second Demand Payment letter, any invoices pending or certified on or after that date may be denied.
  • At any point after you go on Red Light status, you can go off Red Light status after you pay your debt in full. You can review the Returning Program Funding page on the USAC website for information about payments and payment options. (Click the blue Return program funding button, then the Return program funding radio button, then choose the Schools & Libraries Program, then click the blue Continue button and provide the required information.) Make sure you include the FRN and indicate whether it is a COMAD or RIDF payment in the "Comments" section to ensure the payment is credited appropriately.

We suggest that you contact us as soon as you have made your payment so that we can adjust your account more quickly. To contact us, please open a customer service case in EPC or call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100.


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