October 23, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: The invoicing deadline for Funding Year (FY) 2019 recurring services has been extended to February 25, 2021 for all program participants. You do not need to request an extension of the original October 28, 2020 deadline if you are not ready to complete your invoicing for these services.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 26 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 22. As of October 23, FY2020 commitments total over $1.80 billion.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 76 FCDLs on October 21. As of October 23, FY2019 commitments total over $2.41 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).

Reminder on USAC Processing of Second FY2020 Filing Window Applications

USAC is working with applicants to minimize the need to track additional Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) where possible by leveraging existing processes to complete the review of their second FY2020 filing window applications. For each FCC Form 471 we receive during the second FY2020 filing window, the reviewer assesses the scenario presented and processes the request to accurately reflect the services/bandwidths received and the duration of those services as indicated on the supporting documentation provided.

If we can process your second FY2020 filing window request as a modification to your existing FRN – for example, as a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification on a pending application or a service substitution on an already committed application – we will do so. If all of the FRNs on your form can be treated this way, we will cancel your application. These changes to FRNs will be noted in the related FRN line item comment in your FCDL.

Please pay particular attention to any modification notifications we send regarding your second FY2020 filing window FCC Form 471 to make sure you agree with the changes the reviewer has made. Note that these modifications may be reported in a Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letter (RFCDL) related to the associated service substitution or an FCDL for the second FY2020 filing window application, depending on how your request is processed.

The EPC Administrative Window Is Open

The administrative 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.

The administrative window opened Monday, October 19 and will close – and the applicant profiles will be locked – shortly before the FY2021 application filing window opens early in 2021.

For detailed information on updating entity profiles, you can refer to last week's SL News Brief. Here are a few reminders for those of you who are ready to start updating your profiles:

  • School districts report their student counts separately for two different purposes – to calculate their discount and to calculate their C2 budget. For the C2 budget calculation, they now have the choice to update their individual school profiles or to report a total number in the school district profile.
  • Fields that are no longer needed to calculate C2 budgets – total part-time students and peak part-time students for schools and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) codes for libraries – have been removed.
  • If you have new child entities (individual schools for school districts or library branches for libraries), the Client Service Bureau (CSB) can create them for you. Open a customer service case in EPC or call CSB at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.
  • 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.

Updates to the Category Two (C2) Budget Tool FY2021+

Applicants who make changes to information in their entity profiles in EPC will now see the results of those changes reflected in the C2 Budget Tool FY2021+ the following day.

Please note the following updates in the tool related to C2 budget student counts:

  • The full-time student count is now derived from the field Total Students for C2 Budget if the applicant chooses to report student counts in its individual school profiles, or the field District Student Count if the applicant chooses to report a single student count for the school district.
  • The tool now uses the C2 budget algorithm Per Site Basis School District for all school districts with 10 or fewer schools if the applicant chooses not to report a single student count for the school district.

For additional information on the fields and the calculations in the C2 Budget Tool FY2021+, you can refer to the August 14, 2020 SL News Brief and the E-rate FY2021+ Category Two Budget Tool Data Glossary.

Reminder of FY2020 FCC Form 486 Deadline

For applicants who received an FY2020 FCDL dated on or before July 1, 2020 and whose services started on July 1, 2020, your FCC Form 486 deadline is October 29, 2020. This deadline has not been extended.

If your FCC Form 486 appears to be late based on the service start date you reported on your FCC Form 471, we will issue you an FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter, which will give you an extra 15 days to certify your form without penalty.

However, if you miss this extended deadline, we will reset your service start date to the date 120 days before the date you certify your form, and we will not provide discounts on services delivered before that date.

Here are a few tips for those of you who are getting ready to file the FCC Form 486 in EPC before this deadline:

- Do not check the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Waiver box if you are not eligible for a CIPA waiver.

To be eligible for a CIPA waiver in your second funding year, you must be unable to make the certifications required by CIPA because your state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent making the certification(s) otherwise required. You should not check this waiver just because you are not yet in compliance with the requirements of CIPA.

- Choose only the FRNs that you are ready to file.

When you start the FCC Form 486 in EPC and choose a funding year, EPC provides a list of all the FRNs for which USAC has issued positive commitments. You can then choose the FRNs from that list to feature on your form.

  • Note that you may not be ready to include all of your FRNs on this form. For example, July 1 may be the service start date for some FRNs, but you are not yet sure what the service start date will be for other FRNs.

To compile your list, check the box to the left of each FRN that you want to add, then click the button marked Add (x) FRNs. (The (x) represents the total number of FRNs you have chosen.) Your list of chosen FRNs will then appear below the complete list of FRNs in the Selected FRNs section.

- Choose the correct CIPA certification based on your situation.

Most schools and libraries must be compliant with the requirements of CIPA in their second funding year.

  • Do not indicate that you are working toward compliance if your first funding year has already been established.
  • Do not indicate that CIPA does not apply if you are requesting funding for internet access services and/or Category Two services.
  • If you are a consortium or other entity that makes the appropriate CIPA certification(s) on behalf of its members, be sure to collect FCC Form 479 from each of your members before completing the appropriate certifications on the FCC Form 486.

- Review your form carefully before you certify it.

If we find incorrect or inconsistent information on your certified form, we will have to review your form and, in consultation with you, correct your form before we can approve it.

For a detailed description of the requirements of CIPA, you can refer to the CIPA guidance on the USAC website.

Correction: Link to Category Two Budget Tool Glossary Updated

The link to the E-rate FY2021+ Category Two Budget Tool Data Glossary in yesterday's Special Edition SL News Brief goes to an earlier version of the glossary. The current version of the glossary features a footer date of October 14, 2020. We have corrected the link in the archived issue of the SL News Brief.


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