July 10, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: The FCC Form 470 for Funding Year (FY) 2021 is now available in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). Applicants with long procurement cycles or who have other reasons for starting their FY2021 competitive bidding processes well in advance of the funding year can now complete and certify this form.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 9 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 2 and Wave 10 FCDLs on July 9. As of July 10, FY2020 commitments total over $1.09 billion.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 65 on July 1. As of July 10, FY2019 commitments total over $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 Users and BEAR Form Filers Is Coming on July 27

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.

Starting on July 27, EPC users and BEAR Form filers must first log in to One Portal (our MFA security system) to access EPC and/or the BEAR Form. In next week's SL News Brief, we will provide specific instructions on how to log in for the first time and set up your second verification factor. You will also receive these instructions by email on July 27.

General information

As a reminder, we are creating One Portal accounts for EPC users with their EPC username, and for BEAR Form filers who are not EPC users with their BEAR Form email address. 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.

Reminder 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. We are working on a separate project to use the One Portal login process to replace the PIN, but we do not yet have an estimated date for the completion of that project.

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.
  • Decide how you would like to receive your second verification factor (code). 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.

Service providers

We instituted the One Portal login process for service providers late last year. Service providers who participate in Universal Service Fund (USF) programs should already have a One Portal account that they use to access the E-File System and the SPI Form. If you also have an EPC account, we will add an entitlement for EPC to your current dashboard.

For service provider users who participate in the E-rate Program but only have an EPC account, we will create an account for you in One Portal under your EPC username.

Applicants, consultants, and state coordinators

For applicants, consultants, and state coordinators who have EPC access, we will create an account for you in One Portal under your EPC username.

  • If you have more than one role in EPC and you have a different username for each role, we will create a separate One Portal account under each EPC username. For example, if you are the contact person for a consortium and also for a school district, and you have a separate EPC username for each role, you will have two One Portal accounts.
  • For consultant users, you will have a single One Portal account (assuming you have one EPC username), and you will be able to access your clients in EPC as you do now after you log in to One Portal.
  • If you also file BEAR Forms, we will add a BEAR Form entitlement to your dashboard, but only if the email address you use to file your BEAR Form matches your EPC username. In the unlikely situation that your EPC username and your BEAR Form email are different, we will create two One Portal accounts, each with its own entitlement.

BEAR Form filers

We will also move the online BEAR Form in to One Portal. If you only file BEAR Forms (in other words, if you do not have an EPC account), we will set up an account for you in One Portal using the email address associated with your BEAR Form login. As above, if you use more than one email address to log in to BEAR Forms, we will create a One Portal account for each email address.

In the near term, after you log in to One Portal and access your dashboard, you will still need your BEN, PIN, email address, and last name to log in to the BEAR Form. Your One Portal username will not populate in the BEAR Form, and your BEAR Form login information will not change.

  • If you file BEAR Forms for more than one entity using the same email address, you will not need multiple One Portal logins to access the BEAR Form.
  • You are not required to use your One Portal username to log in to the BEAR Form. In other words, if you use different email addresses to file BEAR Forms for different entities, you will still use the email address appropriate for each entity when you log in to the BEAR Form itself.

A few PINs in our system are not associated with a valid email address – for example, an email address with a misspelled domain name. We will work with those users to establish a valid email address so that we can create an account in One Portal for them.

Logging in to One Portal for the first time

As a reminder, next week we will provide instructions on how to log in to One Portal for the first time and how to set up your second verification factor.

USAC Seeks Feedback on User Experience-Related IT Enhancements

Share your ideas

The Share Your E-rate User-Experience System Ideas form continues to be available for program participants to submit their ideas and feedback for improving and/or enhancing the user experience of Schools and Libraries information systems. Please continue to share your feedback to help us continue to improve the program.

We may ask you for additional information about any suggestions you submit to us. However, if you do not wish to be contacted by USAC, simply notify us by email.

If you have specific inquiries or requests for assistance related to the information systems, please create a customer service case in EPC or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

New web page featuring user experience-related IT enhancements

We have posted a list of the User Experience-Related System Enhancements that contains the user-submitted suggestions we have implemented to date. The entries in the list are organized by the date the enhancement was deployed. The list itself consists of three columns: the system affected (generally EPC or Legacy), the stakeholder request submitted, and a summary of the enhancement.

We will continue to update the list as we deploy new system enhancements.


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