July 24, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that the FCC waived or extended many program deadlines in Order DA 20-364, released April 1, 2020. For a summary of these deadline waivers and extensions, you can refer to the April 3 SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 12 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 23. As of July 24, FY2020 commitments total over $1.18 billion.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 67 on July 22. As of July 24, FY2019 commitments total over $2.40 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 Issues Public Notice on Draft ESL for FY2021

On July 21, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice (DA 20-767) establishing the comment period for the FY2021 Eligible Services List (ESL).

Comments on the draft ESL, which is attached to the Public Notice, are due to the FCC on or before August 20, 2020. Reply comments are due to the FCC on or before September 4, 2020. For information on filing comments with the FCC, please refer to the Public Notice.

MFA for EPC Users and BEAR Form Filers Is Coming on July 27

USAC is 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.

Tonight (July 24) starting at 9:00 pm EDT, we will be uploading the necessary software, creating accounts for EPC users and BEAR Form filers in One Portal (our MFA security system), and then testing everything. This work will continue through the weekend. We plan to send out emails notifying you that you can log in to your new One Portal accounts starting on Monday, July 27.

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 to One Portal.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • Add to your safe senders list so that you can receive your verification code.
  • We are creating a One Portal account for each unique EPC username or BEAR Form email address. If you use the same email address for both applications, we will create a single One Portal account that will provide access to both.
  • For the near term, BEAR Form filers will need to retain their BEAR login information – Billed Entity Number (BEN), Personal Identification Number (PIN), email address, and last name. Your One Portal username will not carry over into the BEAR Form, and you do not need multiple One Portal accounts if you file BEAR Forms for more than one billed entity.

You can refer to previous editions of the SL News Brief for information about MFA: June 26, July 10, and July 17. USAC will send an email on July 27 to all program participants who have new One Portal accounts with information on how to log in to One Portal for the first time.

If you need assistance, you can call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

FY2021 FCC Form 470 Reminders

The FY2021 FCC Form 470 became available in EPC on July 1. Here are a few reminders about the FCC Form 470 if you are ready to open your competitive bidding process for FY2021:

You must file the FCC Form 470 in EPC.

To start an FCC Form 470, you must have a One Portal username and password to access EPC. Your EPC account administrator can set up an EPC user account for you if you do not already have one, and our system will then create a One Portal account for you. After your accounts are set up, you can log in to One Portal, choose EPC from your dashboard, and click the FCC Form 470 link at the top of your EPC landing page to start an FCC Form 470.

Before you start, you should review the Applicant Process Step 1: Competitive Bidding page, the FCC Form 470 Filing page, the FCC Form 470 User Guide, and the FCC Form 470 filing videos.

You must complete some information in your organization's profile in EPC before you can file a program form.

Your billed entity information – including address and contact information and attributes for the schools in a school district or libraries in a library system – is pulled into program forms from your organization's profile in EPC.

For the purpose of filing the FCC Form 470, you do not need to update your student counts (schools) or square footage (libraries). However, the system will count the number of recipients of service based on your current organization profile in EPC. If you cannot update your organization's profile information in EPC to reflect added or removed individual schools, library branches, or consortium members, you can provide updated information in the narrative fields in your FCC Form 470 and in the document(s) you attach to your form (see below).

If you issue a request for proposal (RFP) and/or RFP documents, you must upload these documents to your FCC Form 470.

If you are issuing an RFP and/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.

An RFP document can be a formal bidding document – for example, an invitation for bid (IFB) or request for quote (RFQ) – or it could be any document issued as part of your competitive bidding process to provide more information to potential bidders. The actual RFP itself (along with all subsequent addenda) must be made publicly available through USAC's website by uploading the RFP to your form in EPC.

In addition, if you issue RFP documents AFTER you certify an FCC Form 470, you MUST upload them to that certified FCC Form 470. Note that if you did not add an RFP document to your original form before it was certified, you cannot add an RFP document later. Instead, you must attach the document to a new FCC Form 470 and then certify that form.

Certify the form online in EPC.

The FCC Form 470 is posted to tools on the USAC website after it has been certified in EPC (see below).

Note that, if the user who creates the form does not also have the necessary rights (permissions) to certify it, EPC will create a task for users within the organization who do.

  • Users with partial rights to the FCC Form 470 can complete the form but cannot certify the form.
  • Users with full rights to the FCC Form 470 can complete, edit, and certify the form in EPC.

Your receipt notification will appear in your EPC News feed shortly after you certify your form.

Your FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) that confirms your certification will appear in the News tab in your EPC account shortly after you certify your form. You can submit requests to correct certain errors through EPC by clicking Related Actions at the top of the form.

You can also access your RNL by navigating to your FCC Form 470 in EPC and clicking the News option from the menu near the top of the page (NOT the blue News tab). In this way, you will only see news items that apply to this form.

Service providers can view filed FCC Forms 470 either through EPC or on the USAC website.

EPC has a search and download function that will allow service providers with accounts in EPC to search for certified FCC Forms 470. You can download the form data from the search results as a set of .CSV files.

Service providers can also view a PDF version of a single form along with all of its attached RFP documents in the View an FCC Form 470 tool, and detailed information for multiple forms in the Download FCC Form 470 Information tool. You can find both of these tools on the E-rate Tools page on the USAC website.


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