January 8, 2021

TIP OF THE WEEK: The Funding Year (FY) 2021 FCC Form 471 application filing window opens next week. The FY2021 filing window opens on Friday, January 15, 2021, at 12:00 noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 35 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on December 23, Wave 36 FCDLs on December 31, and Wave 37 FCDLs on January 7. As of January 8, FY2020 commitments total over $2.11 billion.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 81 FCDLs on January 6. As of January 8, FY2019 commitments total over $2.42 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).

Coming Next Week: E-rate Learn Updates

The E-rate Program's online training options such as videos, webinars, and E-learning modules are currently located in two separate areas of the E-rate section of the website - Learn and Trainings. We are currently working behind-the-scenes to merge these sections of the website so that E-rate participants can find information on all E-rate training events and materials in one area of the website.

Next week, USAC will launch an updated version of the Learn section of the website. This change will help users find the training information they need, all in the same place. We expect the updates to go live on January 13, 2021. USAC will temporarily implement redirects from the older training page URLs to the new pages to assist participants with the transition. Be sure to update any bookmarks you have once the Learn section has been updated.

In future SL News Briefs, we will continue to provide information about training opportunities provided in the Learn section of the website.

EPC Administrative Window Closes January 13

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, 2020 and will close – and the applicant profiles will be locked – on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

For detailed information on updating entity profiles, you can refer to the October 16, 2020 SL News Brief and the Administrative Window webinar. Here are a few reminders to prepare for the upcoming filing window:

  • FY2021 is the first year of the new Category Two (C2) budget cycle. To learn about the changes to C2 budgets, watch the Category Two Budgets webinar.
  • School districts report their student counts separately 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.
  • If you have new child entities (individual schools for school districts or library branches for library systems), 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.

We encourage you to make any entity profile updates promptly, either through your account administrator or CSB. After the administrative window closes, most entity updates must be requested through Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modifications in EPC after you certify your FY2021 FCC Form 471.

Tribal Schools and Libraries: Designate Your Tribal Status in Your EPC Profiles

Before the administrative window closes on January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST, we encourage you to review the Tribal designations for your entities in EPC. USAC uses the Tribal designation to understand who is participating in the program, provide Tribal outreach and training, assess Tribal training efforts through participation, and report and analyze data about Tribal lands and Tribal entities.

A school or library entity may self-designate as a Tribal entity in EPC if it meets any of the following descriptions:

  • the majority of students or library patrons served are Tribal members;
  • the entity is located partially or entirely on Tribal land;
  • the entity is a school operated by or receiving funding from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE); or
  • the entity is a school or library operated by a Tribal Nation.

If you need help finding the Tribal checkbox in EPC, watch the EPC Tribal Check Boxes video on how to find and designate your entity's Tribal status.

Please note the following:

  • The Tribal checkbox applies to an individual school or library – it does not apply to a school district or library system. In other words, a school district or library system can include a school or library designated as a Tribal entity even though the descriptions above do not apply to the entire school district or library system.
  • USAC cannot check the Tribal checkbox on your behalf. You must check the appropriate box in your EPC profile yourself.

USAC Seeks Feedback on User Experience-Related IT Enhancements

The Share Your E-rate User-Experience System Ideas form is 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 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.

We have also posted a list of the User Experience-Related System Enhancements that contains the user-submitted suggestions we have implemented, organized by the date the enhancement was deployed. We will continue to update the list as we deploy new system enhancements.

If you have specific inquiries or requests for assistance related to the information systems, please create a customer service case in EPC or call CSB.


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