January 15, 2021

TIP OF THE WEEK: E-rate Learn updates are live. On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, all E-rate training materials such as videos, webinars, and E-learning modules were moved to the Learn section of the website. USAC will temporarily implement redirects from the older training page URLs to the new pages to assist participants with the transition. For more information, see last week's SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 38 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on January 14. As of January 15, FY2020 commitments total over $2.14 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).

Upcoming E-rate Office Hour Webinars

During the FY2021 application filing window, USAC will conduct a series of office hour webinars which will focus on E-rate topics related to FCC Forms 470 and 471.

Below is the schedule of webinars for January and February showing the topic, the time, the recommended audience, the recommended E-rate experience level and the specific materials that attendees should review in advance of the webinar. Note that two different Eligible Services webinars, one for advanced users and one for beginners, are being held on the same day.

If you are interested in attending, register for the webinar and watch the videos and/or review the other assigned materials.

When the webinar starts, we will provide instructions on how to ask questions, go over a short summary of the materials you should have reviewed, and then open the floor for questions. Attendees will use the webinar's chat function to ask questions.

We will identify questions of general interest that are submitted through the chat function, read and respond to them verbally, and also answer more specific questions individually using the chat function. As with our regular webinars, we will give preference to questions about the topic under discussion.

Date and Time Topic Audience Level Materials to Review
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. ET Eligible Services Applicants and service providers Advanced FY2021 Eligible Services List
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. ET Eligible Services Applicants and service providers Beginner/Intermediate Eligible Services webinar, FY2021 Eligible Services List
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. ET FCC Form 470 and Competitive Bidding Applicants and service providers


FCC Form 470 video series, LCP page, Pre-Commitment Process webinar
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. ET Service Provider Selection and FCC Form 471 Applicants and service providers


FCC Form 471 video series, Pre-Commitment Process webinar

Preparing for the FY2021 Application Filing Window

The FCC Form 471 application filing window opened today, Friday, January 15, 2021 at noon EST and will close Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Thursday, February 25, 2021, is the latest date that you can certify an FCC Form 470 for FY2021 and still have time to wait the required 28 days and certify your FCC Form 471 before the window closes on March 25 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The FCC Forms 470 and 471 must be filed in EPC. The dates and times above apply to the time the form is certified in EPC. If you complete all of the required information on the form before the deadline but certify it after the deadline, the form will not be considered as timely filed.

Below are the next steps for applicants who have not accessed EPC in the last six months, applicants who are ready to start their competitive bidding process, and applicants who have completed their competitive bidding process and signed a contract.

Applicants who have not accessed EPC in the last six months

Last July, we have added an additional step to the login process. To access EPC, you must first log in to One Portal, our multifactor authentication (MFA) system. 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 by email or text.

For existing users, we have created accounts for you in One Portal. To set up your credentials in One Portal, click the blue Sign In button at the top of any USAC page and follow the instructions. To see a demonstration of the login process, you can watch the Forgot Password video. (The process of logging in for the first time and the process of resetting your existing password are essentially the same.)

Newly created users in EPC will automatically be set up with a One Portal account using their email address as their username. As above, click the blue Sign In button to get started. If you need assistance, call CSB at (888) 203-8100.

Applicants who are just starting the application process for FY2021

Applicants begin the process of applying for discounts on eligible services by completing and certifying an FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) in EPC. This opens the competitive bidding process, which is a formal process to identify and request the products and services needed so that potential service providers can review those requests and submit bids for them.

The entity that will run the competitive bidding process must be prepared to receive and evaluate bids and negotiate with service providers.

You do not have to file an FCC Form 470 for FY2021 if:

  • you will be purchasing services from a state master contract where your state filed an FCC Form 470 and conducted a competitive bidding process and that resulting state master contract covers those services for all of FY2021; or
  • you posted an FCC Form 470 for a previous funding year and conducted a competitive bidding process which resulted in a multi-year contract that covers your services for all of FY2021; or
  • you are purchasing a commercially available, high-speed business-class internet service that meets ALL of the requirements listed in the Exemption from Filing an FCC Form 470 section of the Applicant Step 1: Competitive Bidding guidance document on the USAC website.

Remember that you must wait at least 28 days after you certify your FCC Form 470 before you can select a service provider, sign a contract, and complete and certify your FCC Form 471.

Applicants who have completed their competitive bidding process and signed a contract

If you are using a new or existing contract on your FCC Form 471, you must have a contract record for that contract in your EPC profile. A contract record provides specific details about a contract – e.g., the establishing FCC Form 470, the number of bids received, the service provider, the contract term and associated dates – so that this information can be auto-populated from your profile to the appropriate funding request on your FCC Form 471.

You can create contract records in your EPC profile even though the EPC administrative window has closed.

To create a contract record, go to the organization page for the parent organization (independent school, school district, independent library, library system, or consortium), click Contracts from the menu choices at the top of the page, then choose Manage Contracts, then choose Add a New Contract.

  • You do not need to create a new contract record for a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions if you previously created the contract record in EPC.
    • For a contract that has been voluntarily extended through FY2021, you can cite the existing contract record on the appropriate funding request on your FCC Form 471 and then enter the extended date in the field labeled "What is the date your contract expires for the current term of the contract?"
  • If you have a new contract or need to make changes to an existing contract record, you must create a new contract record. EPC does not allow edits to a contract record after it has been submitted. You are encouraged – but not required – to upload a copy of your contract into your contract record. If you do not upload your contract, be sure to keep a copy handy in case USAC requests it during the review of your application.


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