January 22, 2021

Funding Year (FY) 2021 FCC Form 471 Filing Window Countdown

The Funding Year (FY) 2021 application filing window is open. The filing window will close on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT.

Days to window close


FY2021 FCC Forms 471 filed


Note, the last day to post an FCC Form 470 for FY2021 and still be able to timely certify and submit an FCC Form 471 is Thursday, February 25, 2021.

FY2021 FCC Forms 470 filed


FCC Forms 470 and 471 counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EST

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you intend to file FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) but you do not yet have a Personal Identification Number (PIN), we encourage you to request a PIN promptly. After we issue your PIN, we also create an account for you in One Portal, our multi-factor authentication platform, if you do not already have an account.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 39 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on January 21. As of January 22, FY2020 commitments total over $2.16 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).

January 27 E-rate Office Hour Webinars

We are conducting two office hour events on FY2021 eligible services next Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Below is the schedule including the time, the recommended audience, E-rate experience level, and the specific materials that attendees should review in advance of the webinar.

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 (11/6/2020), FY2021 Eligible Services List

If you are interested in attending one of the sessions, register for the webinar and review the 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. The event will primarily be a question and answer session, so please come prepared with your questions about FY2021 eligible services. As with our regular webinars, we will give preference to questions about the topic under discussion.

Please visit our Webinars page to register for other upcoming events.

FCC Form 471 Bulk Upload Templates for FY2021

The FCC Form 471 bulk upload templates allow applicants to create line item data for their individual Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) outside of the FCC Form 471 and then upload that data into their form before they certify it.

To prepare for the upload, you must create an FRN in your FCC Form 471 by providing FRN-level information (e.g., service type; contract, tariff, or month-to-month service; service provider; pricing confidentiality), and separately enter the required line-item information in the appropriate bulk upload template. You can then upload the template containing the details of your services, costs, and recipients of service information to the FRN.

The templates are available for use on the FCC Form 471 Filing page on the USAC website or in EPC after you complete the FRN-level information. We expect to post a detailed bulk upload template user guide in the near future.

Before starting, please review the template(s) you intend to use along with the guidance below.

NOTE: Applicants who do not have large amounts of equipment and services to enter can probably complete their FRN line items more quickly and efficiently by entering the data manually in their FRNs instead of preparing the bulk upload template.

General information

Follow these guidelines when you download and start a bulk upload template:

  • Download the current version of each template (version 21.0) from the website or the FY2021 FCC Form 471. Do not use an archived version from a previous funding year.
  • Use Excel version 2010 or later.
  • Save the template to your hard drive with a name you will remember. If you have multiple options to save the template, choose Excel Macro-enabled workbook.
  • Open the template and IMMEDIATELY enable content (click the Enable Macros button you see on the first worksheet) before you enter any data.
  • Enter your data from left to right, one row at a time.
  • If a field has dropdown values, choose the appropriate value – do not type it in.
  • Do not enter more than 5,000 rows (actually 4,996 plus the four header rows). If you need more rows, create a second template and upload it separately. This will add to your existing data, not replace it.
  • When you have completed your data entry, choose the Click to Validate button on the Recipients of Service tab. If you have made any errors, they will appear on the List of Errors tab. Fix the errors, then choose the Click to Validate button again. When no errors appear on the List of Errors tab, immediately save and close the completed template. (If you navigate back to one of the earlier tabs, even if you don't make any changes, you must go through the validation process again.)

Category One (C1) template

This template is designed for all types of C1 services except fiber. If you choose the function type "Fiber," you can enter your data on the template and correct any errors without apparent problems, but the template will not load successfully. Please enter your line-item data manually for all of your fiber requests.

There are three tabs (worksheets) on the C1 template:

  • Category One Internet Access
  • Recipients of Service, which includes the Click to Validate button.
  • List of Errors

Category Two (C2) templates

There are some significant changes to the C2 templates from last year, due mostly to the changes in C2 budgets.

Starting with FY2021, C2 budgets are calculated at the level of the "budgeted entity" – a school district, library system, independent school, or independent library.

  • Budgeted entities who complete an FCC Form 471 still identify their recipients of service (individual schools for school districts or library branches for library systems) and can indicate that the costs for certain products and/or services be allocated to specific recipients, but they are not required to do so. Any C2 costs allocated to these individual schools or library branches will be totaled at the budgeted entity (school district or library system) level.
  • Consortia and Educational Service Agency (ESA) school districts must, however, provide C2 allocations for their budgeted entity members.

As a result, each of the three C2 bulk upload templates has an extra worksheet labeled Budgeted Entities to allow for this totaling.

On the first tab of each C2 template, at the end of each line, you must choose one of the following responses to the question "Do any of these conditions apply?" and the answer will determine the information you must complete on the second and third tabs. Choices A and B apply to budgeted entities; choices C and D apply to consortia and ESA school districts:

  • Choose "A: Product/Service is for all entities" and you will not need to complete the Recipients of Service tab or the Budgeted Entities tab because the system will automatically complete the required information when you upload your template.
  • Choose "B: Product/Service is only for some entities" and you must enter the entity numbers for the Recipients of Service on the second tab, but you do not need to complete the Budgeted Entities tab.
  • Choose "C: Product/Service is for only some entities, but the cost is split evenly among the budgeted entities" and you must enter the information requested on the Recipients of Service tab. You do not need to complete the Budgeted Entitles tab because the system will split the cost evenly among the budgeted entities associated with the recipients of service.
  • Choose "D: Neither A, B, or C is applicable" and you must enter all required data on the Recipients of Service and Budgeted Entities tabs.


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