March 19, 2021

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

The Funding Year (FY) 2021 application filing window is open. The application 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


FCC Forms 471 counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EDT

TIP OF THE WEEK: The FY2021 FCC Form 473 (Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form) is now available through the E-File System. Service providers who want a copy of their certified form should click the PRINTABLE PAGE icon at the top of the page to save or print their copy before exiting the form.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 47 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 18. As of March 19, FY2020 commitments total over $2.32 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).

Last-Minute Filing Tips for the FCC Form 471 Application Filing Window

In last week's SL News Brief, we provided some FCC Form 471 tips for first-time filers. Below are some additional tips to keep in mind during this last week of the FCC Form 471 application filing window.

Returning to an incomplete FCC Form 471

If you are not finished with a form and you need to exit the form or EPC times you out, you can click the SAVE & CONTINUE button to save your work on the current page and then exit the browser. EPC will create a task for you under the Tasks tab and in the My Tasks list on your landing page to return to the form and complete your data entry.

We strongly encourage you not to use the SAVE AND SHARE button that appears at the bottom of many of the entry screens of your form. This button will send a task to everyone in your organization to continue working on the form except you.

If you have provided all of the required information but you are not a full-rights user, you can click the SEND FOR CERTIFICATION button in EPC after you review the PDF version of your form to create a task for all full-rights users to be able to access, review, and certify the form.

Reviewing the FCC Form 471 walkthrough videos

We have posted seven recorded video walkthroughs related to the FCC Form 471 in the Videos section of the USAC website. They are:

  • How to Create a Contract Record
  • Category One: Starting Your FCC Form 471
  • Category One: Creating Funding Requests
  • Category One: Certification
  • Category One: Starting Your FCC Form 471
  • Category One: Creating Funding Requests
  • Category One: Certification

You can review the improvements we have made for the data entry of Funding Request Number (FRN) line items to help you prepare for your own data entry.

Tracking your Category Two (C2) Budget

FY2021 is the first year of the first full five-year C2 budget cycle under the new C2 budget rules. Unused funding from FY2020 will not carry over into FY2021. Some other aspects of C2 budgets have changed as well.

Before you start entering the details of your C2 FRNs, you will see a link labeled >>View Category Two Budget Information on the Funding Requests screen. Each time you finish entering FRN line items and return to the Funding Requests screen, this link will be updated with the pre-discount costs you entered on your FRNs up to this point. That way you can track the effect of your requests on your C2 budget. Remember that C2 budgets are pre-discount – in other words, your C2 budget will change by the full cost of your C2 services, not the discounted cost.

Certifying your FCC Form 471

You can certify the FCC Form 471 yourself if you are a full-rights user for this form. Check with your account administrator if you believe you should have these rights but are unable to certify your form.

Remember that sending a form to full-rights users in your organization will mean that you will no longer have access to edit the form. You do have the ability to review the information you provided on a PDF version of the form before you send it for certification, and full-rights users also must review that PDF version before they can proceed to certification.

Correcting information on the FCC Form 471 after it is certified

You are not limited to correcting entity profile information with the RAL modification option. You can file RAL modifications to correct any information on the form, including editing the information you have provided on a funding request or even adding or removing a funding request. Note that your PIA reviewer may have questions for you about the reason(s) you have for the changes you request.

Certifying the FCC Form 471 after March 25, 2021

You must wait at least 28 days after your FCC Form 470 was certified and submitted before you can choose a service provider, sign a contract, and certify an FCC Form 471. If you certified your FCC Form 470 after February 25, 2021 or your FCC Form 471 is late for another reason, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your 28-day waiting period has passed.
  • Choose your service provider and, if applicable, sign a contract.
  • Complete and certify your FCC Form 471 in EPC. You will still be able to certify your form after March 25, 2021, but you will receive an out-of-window status for the form.
  • You can then request a waiver of the window filing requirement from the FCC. Please note that your waiver request may or may not be granted. 

Contacting the Client Service Bureau (CSB)

We suggest that you open a customer service case in EPC or call CSB at (888) 203-8100 as soon as you realize that you have a question or problem. You can refer to last week's SL News Brief for the additional hours CSB will be open during the last week of the window, but the sooner you communicate your issue to us, the more quickly we can help resolve it.


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