June 26, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: June 30, 2020 is the last day to receive recurring services for Funding Year (FY) 2019. Even if the same service provider will continue to provide your recurring service after June 30, you must use the Funding Request Number (FRN) approved for FY2020 when you are invoicing for recurring services that start July 1, 2020.

NOTE: USAC will not issue an SL News Brief next Friday, July 3, 2020 due to the federal holiday.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 8 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 25. As of June 26, FY2020 commitments total over $998 million.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 64 on June 24. As of June 26, FY2019 commitments total just under $2.39 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).

MFA for EPC and BEAR Form Filers Coming in July 2020

USAC will be 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 known to the user and a code we generate and send to the user to enter in order to gain access.

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.

For users of EPC and BEAR Form filers, your login process will change. Starting in late July 2020, you must first log in to One Portal (our MFA security system) to access EPC and/or the BEAR Form. We will provide additional information in advance of the One Portal deployment with instructions on how to log in and set up your second verification factor.

General information

We are creating One Portal accounts for EPC users under their EPC username, and for BEAR Form filers who are not EPC users under their BEAR Form email address. All users will log in to One Portal by clicking the blue Sign In button at the top of the main page of the USAC website.

After you log in to One Portal, you will see a dashboard with links to the application(s) you can access (your "entitlements"). For example, if your username in EPC is also the email address you use to file BEAR Forms, you will see links to EPC and the BEAR Form after you log in.

Note for all BEAR Form filers

For the near term, you will still be required to log in to the BEAR Form with the Billed Entity Number (BEN), Personal Identification Number (PIN), email address, and last name. In the future, the One Portal login process will replace the use of a PIN.

How to prepare for MFA

  • Add to your safe senders list. After we create your One Portal account, we will send you an email from with instructions on how to log in for the first time.
  • If you have identified a primary email address in EPC that is different from the email address you use to log in to EPC, we will send email messages to your primary email. However, we will still use your EPC login email address as your One Portal username.

Your first verification factor will be your One Portal password, which you will set up when you access your account for the first time. You will need a password that includes at least eight characters, with at least one lower-case letter, one upper-case letter, one number, and one special character.

  • Decide how you would like to receive your second verification factor (code). We will send you a new code each time you log in to One Portal. The first time you log in, we will send the code to your primary email address. After you complete the login process for the first time, you will be able to set your preferred option for receiving the code: the email address you used for your EPC username or BEAR Form login, a second email address, or your cell phone number.

We will provide additional information in upcoming SL News Briefs on the transition to One Portal.

Requesting a 30-Day Extension of the Invoice Deadline

On April 1, the FCC released an Order (DA 20-364) that temporarily waives and extends several E-rate filing and service implementation deadlines and provides all program participants an automatic 30-day extension to respond to USAC information requests related to pending appeals, invoices, FCC Form 500 requests, and audits.

In this order, the FCC directed USAC to provide all applicants and service providers with an automatic 120-day extension of the invoice filing deadline for any funding request with an invoice deadline between March 11, 2020, and October 28, 2020 (i.e., the invoice deadline for funding year 2019 recurring services and special construction), regardless of whether the applicant or service provider already sought an extension of the deadline prior to March 11, 2020.

The FCC also directed USAC to provide an additional 30-day extension to applicants or service providers that file an invoice deadline extension request with an explanation of, and documentation supporting, their entities' inability to file invoices at that time (e.g., dates of closure, difficulty securing the appropriate resources, etc.).

To request this 30-day extension of the invoice deadline, an applicant or service provider should take the following steps:

  • Open a customer service case in EPC.
  • In the Nickname field, enter "COVID-19 30-day invoice deadline extension request."
  • From the Topic menu, choose either "FCC Form 472 - BEAR" or "FCC Form 474 - SPI."
  • From the Subtopic menu, choose "Other."
  • In the Description field, provide an explanation of the reason(s) you are requesting the extension. Be sure to include the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that you want to extend.
  • Upload any additional documentation you have that supports your request.

We will review your request and your documentation and determine if an extension is warranted. We will communicate our decision through the customer service case. If your request is granted, we will include your new invoicing deadline in our decision.

  • For FRNs from FY2016 and future funding years, you can submit an invoice as soon as you can view your new invoicing deadline.
  • For FRNs from FY2015 and previous funding years, please wait at least two days after we update your case before submitting an invoice so that we have time to update our system with the new deadline.


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