September 21, 2020

FY2020 Second Application Filing Window Opens September 21, 2020

On September 16, 2020, the FCC released an Order (DA 20-1091) directing USAC to open a second FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year (FY) 2020. This window opens today, Monday, September 21, 2020 at noon EDT and will close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

This window will enable schools to request additional bandwidth needed to meet the unanticipated and increased demand for on-campus connectivity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic without having to undergo a new competitive bidding process if they meet the following requirements:

  • they already sought bids for the services by posting an FCC Form 470;
  • they received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) from USAC approving a funding request for Category One internet access and/or data transmission services that relied on that FCC Form 470 or they have such a request pending with USAC; and
  • they are requesting additional E-rate discounts on an FCC Form 471 during this second window to purchase additional bandwidth through their existing service provider or a new service provider.

Keep in mind that services requested during this second FY2020 application filing window are limited to additional on-campus Category One internet access and/or data transmission services needed to meet schools' additional bandwidth needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about the Order can be found in the September 18, 2020 SL News Brief.

We will be providing additional information and filing tips as needed during this second filing window to help applicants file successfully. Following is important information to get started.

FY2020 FCC Form 470

Applicants do not need to post an FCC Form 470 to request additional bandwidth on their FY2020 FCC Form 471 during this window if they meet the conditions noted above. However, some applicants may want to file a new FCC Form 470 if required to do so by state or local procurement rules or regulations.

Any applicant starting an FCC Form 470 between now and October 16 must now indicate whether they intend to file their form for FY2020 or FY2021. On the new screen FCC Form 470 - Select Funding Year that appears at the beginning of the filing process, there will be two drop-down options for the Funding Year field:

  • Choose "FY2020" if you intend to cite to your form on FY2020 FCC Forms 471 you intend to file during the second application window.
  • Choose "FY2021" to open a competitive bidding process for funding requests that you will file during the FY2021 filing window.

Because the Order provides an exemption from the E-rate Program requirement to wait 28 days before selecting a service provider, applicants can certify an FY2020 FCC Form 471 immediately after they certify their new FY2020 FCC Form 470 and receive their FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). Note that applicants must still follow all applicable state and local competitive bidding requirements. 

Contract records

Applicants can rely on existing contracts if those contracts were signed pursuant to an earlier FCC Form 470. They do not need to create a new contract record for those contracts to cite on their new FCC Form 471.

However, if applicants have signed a new contract or an amendment to an existing contract, they should create a new contract record for the new contract or amended contract before starting their new FCC Form 471 so they can cite that contract record.

If you filed a new FCC Form 470 for FY2020, you can also cite that FCC Form 470 application number on your contract record without having to wait 28 days.

FY2020 FCC Form 471 narrative fields

The Order requires applicants to provide certain information in the narrative section of each Funding Request Number (FRN) featured on the form, specifically:

  1. the original FY2020 FCC Form 471 application number(s) and the original Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that relied on the original FCC Form 470;
  2. a statement confirming that the requested E-rate discounts are for additional bandwidth needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  3. additional information in the narrative section of the new FRN(s) about the price per megabit in the original and new funding requests that highlights any difference in pricing.

To avoid any confusion and expedite our review, we are asking applicants to clearly indicate in each FRN narrative if their second-window request is upgrading the bandwidth and/or other services in their original request or is an additional separate circuit being installed. A clear, detailed explanation of the information in the request will speed along our review of the application.


To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2020, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005