October 16, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: The second Funding Year (FY) 2020 FCC Form 471 application filing window closes today, October 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Please remember to timely submit and certify your FCC Form 471 by the window close.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 25 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 15. As of October 16, FY2020 commitments total over $1.77 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 Provides Additional Guidance on Category Two (C2) Budgets

On October 14, the FCC issued a Public Notice (DA 20-1218) providing guidance on various Category Two (C2) budget issues, including those that will impact the new district-wide budgets effective beginning in FY2021.

Charter schools

Beginning in FY2021, if a state law considers a charter school to be part of a school district, the charter school will be presumed to be part of the school district unless it demonstrates financial and administrative independence from the district, in which case it will have its own C2 budget and discount rate.

Independent schools with part-time students only

Beginning in FY2021, school districts must count each full-time student one time when calculating their district-wide C2 budget. Independent schools that are attended by students from multiple districts on a part-time basis only can continue to count these students as full-time students (see the Scenario 2 description in the March 23, 2016 SL News Brief).

School buildings that are fully or partially closed due to COVID-19

Students enrolled at brick-and-mortar schools can be counted as full-time students regardless of whether they receive some or all instruction via remote learning during the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants can provide their full-time enrollment numbers from their FY2020 FCC Form 471 applications for FY2021. They are required to validate their enrollment numbers once during the five-year funding cycle, and they may update the enrollment numbers in future funding years during the five-year cycle if they choose to do so.

Cost allocation for the use of shared equipment by Non-instructional Facilities (NIFs)

Applicants must cost-allocate and remove the costs of any use of shared network equipment by a school or library NIF, because C2 funding is not available for NIFs.

For more detailed guidance, you can refer to the Public Notice. 

Second FY2020 Application Filing Window Closes Tonight

The second FY2020 application filing window will close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

We encourage you to set up your One Portal login credentials now so that you are able access EPC, especially if you have not yet started your FCC Form 471.

To locate the instructions for logging in for the first time, click the blue Sign In button at the top of any USAC web page.

Please note that the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open through midnight tonight to assist you with any last-minute questions. You can call CSB at (888) 203-8100 or open a customer service case in EPC.

EPC Admin Window Opens Monday, October 19

The administrative (admin) window is the period during which applicants can make updates to their profile information in EPC to prepare for the upcoming FCC Form 471 application filing window.

Each year, USAC updates applicant profiles in EPC using the reviewed and approved profile information from their current year FCC Forms 471. We do this so that applicants can start the application process for the upcoming funding year with information in their profiles that is accurate as of the date of their FCDL.

USAC has completed this process for applicants whose profile information was updated during the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review of their FY2020 applications. Applicants can now review their profiles and make any additional updates.

As in the past, the admin window will close – and the applicant profiles will be locked – shortly before the FY2021 application filing window opens early in 2021.

Below is a summary of the changes to the entity profile formats and the information we will collect for FY2021:

Category Two (C2) budget information

After the FY2020 transition year, the first five-year C2 budget cycle starts with FY2021. School districts and library systems will have a separate section on their profile pages for C2 budget information.

School districts will report their student counts for two purposes – to calculate their discount and to calculate their C2 budget.

  • Student counts for the discount calculation are reported in the individual school profiles.
  • Student counts for the C2 budget calculation can be reported in the individual school profiles or as a single number in the school district profile. The C2 budget section of the school district profile will offer an option to manage the student counts for individual schools in the school district.

Library systems will continue to report the square footage in their library branch profiles. Later in the admin window, the C2 budget section of the library system profile page will feature the total square footage for all the library branches in the library system.

New school entity subtypes

There are three new entity subtypes for schools – general-use school, detention center, and swing space.

  • A general-use school offers instruction to students drawn from other schools, and student counts can change throughout the year. Some examples of general-use schools are magnet schools, vocational schools, special education units, computer centers, or career centers.
  • A detention center is treated in the same way as a juvenile justice facility. To be eligible for discounts, the state's law must include education for students in juvenile justice facilities within its definition of elementary and/or secondary education.
  • A swing space temporarily houses students from a school which is considered the "main entity" or original location of the student population. The students may need to be temporarily relocated due to closure, construction, or a revamping of their technological infrastructure at the school.
    • Note that a swing space differs from an annex. An annex is considered a part of the school it shares an entity number with rather than a temporary relocation site, while a swing space – although associated with a school – is part of the school district where the school is located and is considered a school in its own right with its own entity number.

Added and deleted fields

For individual school profiles, there are separate fields to enter student counts for discounts and for C2 budgets. There is also a new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) base year field where you must provide an entry if you use CEP.

The following fields have been removed because they are no longer necessary to calculate C2 budgets:

  • Part-time student count for schools
  • Peak part-time student count for schools
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) locale code for libraries

Fields to check for accurate entries

All billed entities

  • Verify that your FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) is correct. If your application includes child entities (individual schools in a school district or library branches in a library system), you do not need FCC RNs for those child entities.
  • Review your address and contact information and make any necessary updates. If you have child entities, review and update their information as well.

School districts

  • If you decide to report the total number of students in your district for the purpose of calculating your C2 budget, provide that number in your school district profile.
  • If you decide to report the number of students in each individual school profile for the purpose of calculating your C2 budget, make sure you report a positive number of students.
    • Exceptions: The following school subtypes can have a zero student count: juvenile justice, new construction, general-use school, detention center, and swing space.
  • Update the student counts for each of your schools for the purpose of calculating your discount and provide the appropriate entries for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility or an equivalent measure of poverty (CEP, survey, etc.).

Library systems

  • Review the entries for the square footage of each of your library branches to make sure they are correct.
  • Bookmobiles and kiosks must have a positive square footage to be included in the library system's C2 budget calculation.
  • Verify that you have identified the library branch that serves as the main branch for your library system.


  • Review your list of consortium members to make sure it is accurate. You can add or remove consortium members through the Manage Organization Relationships function in your consortium profile.
  • Remind your members to update their profiles so that their discount calculations and other program information will be accurate.

Additional suggestions

If you have new child entities (individual schools for school districts or library branches for libraries), CSB can create them for you. Open a customer service case in EPC or call CSB at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.

We encourage you to submit any FY2020 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modifications or FY2020 appeals before you add new entities or new entity subtypes to your organization's profile information. This will allow us to process your RAL modification or appeal more quickly.


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