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E-Rate News Flash 23-01

Issue 23-01

March 10, 2023

E-Rate News Flash


  • Announcements
  • Funding Commitment Summary
  • Pending Dates and Deadlines
  • E-Rate and Emergency Connectivity Fund Training Resources
  • E-rate Process: Activities to Work on Now


March 28, 2023 is the E-Rate FCC Form 471 Annual Application Deadline for Funding Year 2023

The FCC Form 471 filing deadline for Funding Year 2023 closes on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 8:59 p.m. PDT. All applicants who are seeking E-Rate funding for eligible services delivered between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024, must file their annual FCC Form 471 funding requests in the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) online portal by the March 28 deadline.

K12 High Speed Network E-Rate Support Resources

K12HSN’s E-Rate Support Team is available to assist schools with questions during the E-Rate FCC Form 471 application window. Schools may reach out to the team to request support by contacting The team’s recorded webinars and office hours specific to the FCC Form 471 window are available at K12HSN’s E-Rate training website and include:

  • Beginners: Filing FCC Form 471 for Category 1 Services (recording available)
  • Beginners: Filing FCC Form 471 for Category 2 Services (recording available)
  • Preparing for E-rate Filing Window Office Hour (recording available)

March 30, 2023 is Reply Comment Deadline for FCC Public Notice on Advanced Cybersecurity

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently asked for public comment on making advanced firewall services eligible for E-Rate program support. The initial comment period ended February 13, 2023, but reply comments may be submitted through March 30, 2023. You may view the FCC’s Public Notice at this link: The link to comments initial public comments filed with the FCC may be viewed here: If you are interested in submitting reply comments, you may submit them in the Electronic Comment Filing System, citing proceeding number 13-184, at this website:

Federal Communications Commission Reminds Recipients of Emergency Connectivity Program Funds of Necessity of Complying with Program Rules

In our previous News Flash, Issue 22-10, we indicated that the FCC was announcing program audits for Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) recipients. On March 1, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding ECF participants of their ongoing compliance obligations. Specifically, the FCC reminds program participants of the necessity to retain asset and broadband service inventories for equipment and services purchased with ECF funds. Participants must also document “unmet needs;” in other words, retain documentation that ECF funds were used primarily to support students and school staff who would otherwise lack connected devices and/or broadband Internet access services sufficient to engage in remote learning. This documentation must be retained for 10 years and must be presented to auditors, upon request. The Public Notice may be viewed at this link:

Required Asset Inventories

For devices, participants must retain an asset inventory tracking all the following items:

1) the device or equipment type (i.e., laptop, tablet, mobile hotspot, modem, router);

2) the device or equipment make/model;

3) the device or equipment serial number;

4) the full name of the person to whom the device or other piece of equipment was provided; and

5) the dates the device or other piece of equipment was distributed (or loaned out) and returned, or the date the school or library was notified that the device or other piece of equipment was missing, lost, or damaged.

Required Service Inventories

For broadband services, participants must retain inventories tracking all the following items:

1) type of service provided (i.e., DSL, cable, fiber, fixed wireless, satellite, mobile wireless);

2) broadband plan details, including: upload and download speeds and monthly data cap;

3) the name(s) of the person(s) to whom the service was provided;

4) the service address (for fixed broadband service only); and

5) the installation date of service (for fixed broadband service only); and

6) the last date of service, as applicable, (for fixed broadband service only).

Additional ECF Compliance Information Issued by USAC

In a recent newsletter, USAC issued additional guidance to ECF program participants regarding compliance with program rules. USAC emphasized the following:

  • Reimbursement may only be requested if there was an actual unmet need.
  • Reimbursement should not be requested for monthly recurring services associated with any devices or equipment that are not being used.
  • ECF funds are not intended to support 1:1 initiatives but may only be used to support students and staff who have a documented unmet need.
  • ECF funds are not intended to support devices and services used exclusively on a school campus, they are primarily intended to support remote learning away from school.

We encourage schools who have claimed ECF funds to ensure that they are in full compliance with ECF program rules and requirements. More information may be found at the FCC’s website, the FCC’s Frequently Asked Questions website, and K12HSN’s ECF resources.

Update on USAC’s Move of Online E-Rate BEAR Filing to EPC and Requirement for Registration for BEAR Filers

As reported in previous News Flashes, USAC is moving the E-Rate FCC Form 472 or BEAR invoicing system to the E-Rate Productivity Center. The E-Rate FCC Form 472 or BEAR is used when schools pay for their services up front and then request approved E-Rate funds be reimbursed directly to them. USAC will be performing this consolidation later this year, likely over the Summer. Implementation news, resources, and updates can be found on USAC’s E-rate System Consolidation website: Requirement

In a recent News Brief, USAC announced that it will begin requiring schools who claim their E-Rate reimbursements via the BEAR method to obtain an Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and have an active registration in This information will be reported to USAC via the FCC Form 498, filed in the E-Rate Productivity Center. Sometime between April and June of 2023, USAC will require schools who use the BEAR method for reimbursement to file or update their FCC Form 498 with the UEI. We anticipate further guidance will be issued by USAC on this new requirement in coming months. Schools who only receive their E-Rate funding through discounts posted on their service provider bills will not need to meet this new requirement.

California Funding Commitment Summary

Emergency Connectivity Fund

Windows 1 and 2

In the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) first and second application windows, California applicants requested over $923 million in funding. To date, USAC has issued $688 million in commitments for California applicants.

Window 3

In the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) third application window, California applicants requested $447 million in funding. To date, USAC has issued $29 million in commitments for California applicants.


Funding Year 2022

For Funding Year 2022, California applicants have successfully submitted 5,374 funding requests for $496 million. California applicants requested $237 million for Category 1 services and $259 million for Category 2 services. To date, USAC has committed $427 million for California applicants.

Pending Dates and Deadlines

E-Rate deadlines may be viewed or calculated on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website at

FCC Form 486 Filing Reminder

The FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children's Internet Protection Act Certification Form) notifies USAC that the billed entity and/or the eligible entities that it represents is receiving, or has received, service in the relevant funding year from the named service provider(s).

Funding Year 2022

FCC Form 486 must be filed 120 days from the date of the issuance of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) or the start date of E-Rate eligible services, whichever is later.

Waves #


Form 486 Due Date




Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2022























Funding Year 2021

FCC Form 486 must be filed 120 days from the date of the issuance of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) or the start date of E-Rate eligible services, whichever is later.

Waves #


Form 486 Due Date




Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2021



















Applicants missing these or earlier deadlines should closely monitor their News Feed in the E-Rate Productivity Center for an FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter notification. This letter will allow the applicant a 15-day extension to submit an FCC Form 486 without penalty.

Upcoming Training Events

Numerous training opportunities available for E-Rate and Emergency Connectivity Fund applicants are available or are coming soon.

Universal Services Administrative Company Recorded Resources

E-Rate Resources

USAC has pre-recorded webinars and other materials available at its website at Recently held webinars include the following:

  • E-Rate Invoicing Process: Office Hour Webinar
  • E-Rate Pre-Commitment Office Hour
  • FY2023 E-Rate Eligible Services Webinar
  • E-Rate Eligible Services List: Office Hour Webinar
  • E-Rate Service Provider Selection and the FCC Form 471 Office Hour

Emergency Connectivity Fund Resources

USAC has conducted multiple office hour webinars for ECF. You may view the webinars and register at this website:

K12 High Speed Network E-Rate Resources

California’s K12 High Speed Network will be offering multiple webinars throughout the E-Rate process specifically tailored to assist California’s school and school district applicants navigate the process. Please click on the Register links below to sign up!

Upcoming sessions:

  • Office Hour and Review of Post Application Window Activities  - April 12, 2023 11AM PT - Register
  • Office Hour and Important Invoicing Reminders - May 17, 2023 11AM PST- Register

E-Rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

FCC Form 471 Filing Tips and Next Steps

As the FCC Form 471 deadline approaches on March 28, 2023, applicants should allow for adequate time to complete the necessary information for their applications and to submit and certify them by the deadline to be considered “within window.”

Review of Existing Services/Contracts

E-Rate applicants should review and verify contracts for all eligible services expected to continue through the next funding year (July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024), review bills for service, and ensure funding requests filed include all eligible services and costs expected, including taxes and surcharges. If you find discrepancies and have already certified your FCC Form 471 funding requests, you may either submit corrections via a Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) correction, or submit a new FCC Form 471 with the correct information prior to the filing deadline. USAC will require you to cancel any duplicate funding requests.

New Services and Estimating Taxes and Surcharges

E-Rate applicants should review any bids and/or new contracts for service to ensure they are complete and include the entire costs of all services you expect to order in the 2023 funding year. If they do not include estimated taxes and surcharges, make sure to include these estimates in your funding requests. Some E-Rate eligible services, such as Internal Connections, are subject to California sales tax, while recurring broadband services may be subject to California Public Utilities Commission surcharges. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your services will be subject to these, contact your awarded service provider for clarification. For current California sales tax rates, please visit: For current California Public Utilities Commission Surcharges, please visit:  

Review Certified Applications and File Corrections

Once you have certified your FCC Form 471 application, it is a good idea to review the application for any errors. You may do this by reviewing the live FCC Form 471 in the EPC or by reviewing the PDF version of the original application. From your Billed Entity’s home page in EPC, select the FCC Forms menu to access the Funding Year 2023 certified forms. Each form filed will have a hyperlink taking you to the live form that you may click through to verify information, and also has a PDF link to the original form which you may download.

If you do identify an error, you may submit a request for correction through the Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) Correction process. See USAC’s Ministerial & Clerical Errors web page at Note that only certain FCC Form 471 ministerial and clerical errors may be corrected. If your error does not meet these criteria, it is better to file a new FCC Form 471 with the correct information prior to the filing deadline and to ask USAC to cancel the application that was filed in error. Any errors found after the filing deadline of March 28 must be corrected through the RAL process. Note that RAL corrections may be submitted to USAC up until a Funding Commitment Decision Letter is issued on the FCC Form 471 application.

Respond to USAC Program Integrity Assurance Review

All FCC Form 471 applications undergo Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. In some instances, USAC reviewers may reach out to the Contact person listed on the FCC Form 471 to ask questions about the application and/or request documentation to substantiate the eligibility of services, the eligibility of entities receiving services, and the data used to calculate the E-Rate discount. Applicants have 15 days to respond to USAC’s request for information, and may request an additional seven-day extension. While responses to USAC’s questions occur in EPC, the outreach from USAC will be sent to the Contact’s e-mail address. Failure to respond to USAC’s questions will lead to the denial of the FCC Form 471 funding requests.

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