January 29, 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: For those applicants who have not yet submitted and certified an FCC Form 470, keep the February 25 certification deadline in mind. Note that you do not have to submit and certify an FCC Form 470 if you have a multi-year contract signed pursuant to an FCC Form 470 in a prior year or your internet access service meets the requirements for an exemption.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 40 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on January 28. As of January 29, FY2020 commitments total over $2.19 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).

Change to Invoice Review Process for SPI Forms

During USAC's invoice review process, we send out a Service Certification for the applicant to complete when we have specific questions related to information on the delivery and installation of certain services.

Our current process for the review of FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, is to email the Service Certification and instructions to the service provider and ask them to forward the entire email to the applicant. The applicant then completes the appropriate sections of the Service Certification and returns it directly to USAC.

In order to speed up the invoicing process, we will be emailing the Service Certification and instructions directly to the applicant, and copying the service provider so they are aware of our request. The applicant can then complete the Service Certification and return it to the USAC invoice reviewer. We suggest that applicants let their service providers know when they have completed and returned the Service Certification to USAC, for example, by copying the service provider on the message to USAC.

Program participants should add to their safe senders list if they have not already done so.

This new process will go into effect for all invoices as of today, Friday, January 29, 2021.

Rescheduled Eligible Services Office Hour Webinar (New Date: February 2)

On January 27, 2021, we scheduled two E-rate office hour webinars on eligible services – a beginner and an advanced session. Unfortunately, we were not able to proceed with our 11:00 a.m. advanced session due to technical difficulties. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope you can join us for the rescheduled advanced session on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Registration for this event is now open. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled live event, a recording will be available on our Webinars page after the event.

The event will primarily be a question and answer session, so please review the FY2021 Eligible Services List and come prepared with your questions about FY2021 eligible services.

A recording of the January 27, 2021 beginner/intermediate session is now available on our Webinars page.

February 3 E-rate Office Hour Webinar: FCC Form 470 and Competitive Bidding

We are hosting another webinar event next week on Wednesday, February 3 at 2:00 p.m. ET for program participants with a beginner or intermediate level of E-rate experience (three years or less). This office hour event will focus on the FCC Form 470 and competitive bidding. If you are interested in attending, register for the webinar and review the assigned materials.

The event will primarily be a question and answer session, so please come prepared with your questions about the FCC Form 470 and competitive bidding.

February 25 Invoicing Deadline Approaching

On April 1, 2020 the FCC released an Order DA 20-364 that temporarily waived and extended several E-rate filing and service implementation deadlines.

Pursuant to the Order, all applicants and service providers with invoice deadlines between March 11, 2020, and October 28, 2020 received an automatic, 120-day extension regardless of whether they had already requested an extension of the deadline.

As a result, applicants and service providers who intend to file invoices for FY2019 recurring service and special construction Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) have until February 25, 2021 (120 days after October 28, 2020) to complete the invoicing process. Program participants can locate their extended deadlines using the View FRNs with Extended Deadlines tool or FRN Status Tool.

Here are some tips if you are new to the invoicing process and intend to submit invoices for FY2019 recurring service and special construction FRNs:

Gather your documentation

Applicants and service providers need to assemble the information they will need to complete the invoicing process, for example, FCDLs, Revised FCDLs (RFCDLs), approved service substitutions, approved Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) changes, and invoices already submitted.

In addition, you should collect documentation that will support your invoices, e.g., contracts, service provider bills to applicants, and equipment delivery receipts. These will help if USAC has questions during the review of your invoices.

Verify your One Portal login

Last July, we added an additional step to the login process. To access EPC (applicants and service providers) or the E-File System (service providers only), all users must first log in to One Portal, our multi-factor 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.

If you are an EPC user, we have created an account 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.

Your EPC account administrator can add you as a user to your organization's EPC or E-File account, and this action will also cause a One Portal account to be set up that will use your email address as your username. If you need assistance, call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

Applicants - Get a PIN

Applicants who pay for their services in full must file the FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, to be reimbursed for the discount amount. To access the BEAR Form, you need a Personal Identification Number.

You can review the Personal Identification Number (PIN) guidance on the USAC website for more information and instructions on how to submit a PIN request.

Complete your invoicing for FY2019 recurring services and special construction

Please submit all of your invoices for the services that have an invoicing deadline of February 25, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EST on that date. You can use either of the tools mentioned above to check all of your FRNs for their current invoice deadline according to USAC's records.

Requesting an invoice deadline extension

If you still need additional time to complete your invoicing process, you can request a one-time extension of the February 25 invoicing deadline if you have not already done so. You will receive an additional 120 days to complete your invoicing process.

Note that if you have already requested a one-time, 120-day invoice deadline extension, you can still request a 30-day extension of the invoice deadline before February 25, 2021.

The April 1, 2020 Order directs USAC to provide an additional 30-day extension to applicants or service providers that file an invoice deadline extension request with an explanation of, and documentation supporting, their entities' inability to file invoices at that time (e.g., dates of closure, difficulty securing the appropriate resources, etc.) and whose original invoice deadline fell between March 11, 2020 and October 28, 2020.

To request this 30-day extension of the invoice deadline, an applicant or service provider should take the following steps:

  • Log in to One Portal.
  • Open a customer service case in EPC.
  • In the Nickname field, enter "COVID-19 30-day invoice deadline extension request."
  • From the Topic menu, choose either "FCC Form 472 - BEAR" or "FCC Form 474 - SPI."
  • From the Subtopic menu, choose "Other."
  • In the Description field, provide an explanation of the reason(s) you are requesting the extension. Be sure to include the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that you want to extend.
  • Upload any additional documentation you have that supports your request.

We will review your request and your documentation and determine if an extension is warranted. We will communicate our decision through the customer service case. If your request is granted, we will include your new invoicing deadline in our decision.

  • For FRNs from FY2016 and future funding years, you can submit an invoice as soon as you can view your new invoicing deadline.
  • For FRNs from FY2015 and previous funding years, please wait at least two days after we update your case before submitting an invoice so that we have time to update our system with the new deadline.

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