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E-Rate News Flash 23-03

Issue 23-03

April 27, 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


Funding Year 2023 E-Rate Program Cap and Demand Estimate Announced

The FCC has announced the inflation-adjusted cap for the E-Rate program for Funding Year 2023 which is $4.768 billion, a 7.0% increase from Funding Year 2022. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) reported that the total demand for Funding Year 2023 is estimated at $2.944 billion. Since 2016, E-Rate program demand has been well below the available cap, allowing for funding for all requests submitted in a timely manner and in accordance to program requirements. USAC typically issues funding commitment decisions in waves starting in late April and weekly through December. The Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) are e-mailed to the Form 471 contacts and authorized signers as well as to the approved service providers.

Participate in Annual National E-Rate Survey

An annual E-Rate survey is being conducted, asking schools and libraries to contribute their opinions and experiences with the E-Rate application process. It is essential that national leaders hear directly from schools and libraries about their internet needs and the efficacy of the E-Rate funding program. This year, the FCC is considering expanding the program’s Eligible Services List to include next-generation firewalls and other cybersecurity solutions. The 2023 survey includes four new questions specific to cybersecurity and the E-Rate. The survey results will be tabulated and shared with Congress, the FCC and the public this summer. Please take a few minutes and complete the survey; you can do it anonymously if you choose. The survey is available at this link:

Last Date to Invoice USAC for Emergency Connectivity Fund Application Windows 1 and 2 is August 29, 2023

Organizations who were approved for funding through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program Windows 1 and 2, will have received recent notifications from USAC of the necessity to complete invoicing, or requesting reimbursement from the program, by the August 29, 2023 deadline. 

Post-Commitment Change Requests

During the implementation of ECF, many schools may have encountered challenges in ordering and receiving services which may have resulted in a difference between what was approved on their funding request(s) and what was actually received. When this occurs, USAC will not process reimbursements until a Post-Commitment Change Request (PCCR) has been submitted and approved. Typical changes requiring a PCCR include the following:

Who will invoice USAC (school vs. service provider)

Service provider needs to change for some or all of funding request

Change in services, service descriptions, part numbers, bandwidths

Change service start and end dates

Cancel or reduce funding request(s)

If your organization needs to submit a PCCR, we encourage you to do so in the ECF portal as soon as possible. More information and tips for filing PCCR requests may be found at K12HSN’s website, USAC’s video tutorial, and USAC’s ECF invoicing webinars and office hours.    

We also 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 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 require schools who claim their E-Rate reimbursements via the BEAR method to obtain an Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and have an active registration in The registration requirement is NOT necessary if your organization exclusively uses the service provider discounting process (SPI) where the service provider invoices USAC directly and posts E-Rate discounts on your bills. For BEAR filers, registration requires annual renewal, so this will need to become a routine task in your annual E-Rate process – plan accordingly!

The UEI will be reported to USAC via the FCC Form 498, filed in the E-Rate Productivity Center. Starting May 12, 2023, any organization that is filing a new FCC Form 498 or is updating its current Form 498 information must enter a current UEI in order for USAC to process the form. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the UEI in must match the EIN reported for your organization’s FCC Registration Number in the FCC’s CORES system.

We advise organizations who intend to use the BEAR reimbursement process through E-Rate to start their registration process now if they are not already registered for other Federal awards. Contact your internal business department and/or department that oversees federal funding to find out if your organization already has an active registration. If your organization is active in, verify that the Employer Identification Number (EIN) reported matches the EIN under your organization’s FCC Registration Number. Because many organizations obtained their FCC Registration Numbers many years ago, it may require some trouble-shooting to obtain a login for the FCC’s CORES system and to make any required updates. For help with CORES, please visit the FCC Registration Help Pages. You can also call the FCC Licensing Hotline, (877) 480-3201 Option 4, or visit the e-support page.

You may also look up your organization’s status, after creating a personal login at Below are links to helpful videos if you are unfamiliar with and the registration process.

Search for Your Entity in

Obtain a Unique Entity ID:

Validate Your Entity:

Register Your Entity:

Renewing and Updating Your Entity:

If you need help obtaining a UEI or have additional questions, please contact USAC’s Customer Service Center, Contributors/Service Providers option, at (888) 641-8722.

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. USAC is currently reviewing applications at the 60% priority level.


Funding Year 2023

For Funding Year 2023, California applicants have successfully submitted 5,434 “In Window” funding requests for $391 million. California applicants requested $243 million for Category 1 services and $158 million for Category 2 services. We anticipate USAC will start to issue commitments soon.

Funding Year 2022

For Funding Year 2022, California applicants have successfully submitted 5,377 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 $444 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 Formnotifies 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 Systems Consolidation: Kick-off Webinar
  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Review and Selective Review Process Webinar
  • FY2023 E-Rate Eligible Services Webinar
  • E-Rate Eligible Services List: Office Hour Webinar

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 Important Invoicing Reminders - May 17, 2023 11AM PST- Register

E-Rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Review Your 2023 Funding Commitment Decision Letter and File an Appeal within 60 Days if Necessary

The purpose of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) is to notify applicants and service providers which funding requests were approved, denied, or cancelled and how much funding was committed. The FCDL notification will arrive via email to the FCC Form 471 contact person, form certifier, and the general contact for the service provider. The email notification will include a PDF summary and a CSV file supporting the commitments and/or changes made by USAC during the review process. Additionally, the FCDL is accessible in the applicant’s “News” header in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and viewable by any user in the organization with viewing rights. FCDLs are issued by individual FCC Form 471.

Applicants are encouraged to review the FCDL as soon as they are issued. If an applicant does not agree with a commitment, denial, cancellation, and/or change that USAC has made to the application or any funding request, the applicant has 60 days from the date of the FCDL to file an appeal with USAC. Instructions on how to file an appeal are located at this website:

When reviewing FCDLs, applicants should verify the application comments, committed amounts, monthly recurring and one-time costs, discount percentage, service provider information, and total number of funding requests. The PDF and CSV files provide summary information. If applicants are looking to verify corrections or changes to more detailed information such as: contract records, individual site enrollments, parent/child relationships, line item details and unit costs, quantities or recipient of services (ROS), the applicant will need to log in to EPC.

In EPC, the applicant may access individual modules from the main landing page by navigating to the “FCC Forms” section. From there, select “FCC Form 471” as the Category and “2023” as the Funding Year. A list of FCC Forms 471 will load for the applicant. Using the hyperlinks to individual FCC Forms 471, the applicant can navigate and view: Summary, Funding Requests, Discount Calculations, or Entity Information. Funding Request Number (FRN) line item details can be accessed by using the individual FRN hyperlinks and selecting each line item to view details. 

Additionally, under the Summary view for individual FCC Form 471, applicants may scroll to the bottom of the section to view “FCC Form 471 Generated Documents.” The “Original Version” and “Current Version” of the FCC Form 471 can be downloaded in PDF form by selecting the hyperlinks. The “Current Version” of the FCC Form 471 reflects the approved application and may be used in conjunction with review of the FCDL instead of viewing multiple screens under the FCC Form 471 displayed in EPC. 

This topic was extensively reviewed by K12HSN for California applicants in its April 2023 Office Hour and Review of Post Application Window Activities - Recording Passcode: VP2t*HVPMaterials .

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