E-Rate News Flash 20-04

E-Rate
  Friday, February 28, 2020

Issue 20-4

February 28, 2020

E-rate News Flash

Contents:

  • Announcements
  • Funding Commitment Summary
  • Pending Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming Training Events
  • E-rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Announcements

California FY2020 FCC Form 471 Funding Request Number (FRN) Status

As of February 26, 2020, 669 FCC Forms 471 have been certified with an associated 1,148 individual funding requests. Approximately 38% of funding requests filed for California applicants are in Application Wave Ready or Final Review status.

As mentioned in our previous News Flash, USAC is actively reviewing these applications now in Program Integrity Assurance Review (PIA). Applicants have 15 days to respond to USAC’s questions. Questions are submitted to the FCC Form 471 contact via e-mail and must be responded to in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) by the 15-day deadline. Applicants may request a seven-day extension in order to respond to USAC’s request for information.

It is important to monitor PIA review status as failure to respond may result in funding denial. Applicants with 15-day Expired Notifications will receive individual outreach from the California State E-rate Support Team.

California Department of Technology Extends CALNET 3 Contracts Through December 31, 2021

The California Department of Technology (CDT) has extended the CALNET 3 contracts for telecommunications and Internet access through December 31, 2021. This extension period is to allow for migration to the next generation CALNET contracts. If your organization has used CALNET 3 to purchase telecommunications and Internet access, and applies for E-rate funding on these services, it is important to understand the following information:

  • If your organization’s CALNET Authorization to Order (ATO) shows an expiration date of June 30, 2020, and you posted a FCC Form 470 for services effective July 1, 2020, and selected the CALNET contract as the most cost effective, request a new Authorization to Order (ATO) from your service provider which reflects the contract extension through December 31, 2021. A new fully executed ATO will document that your organization has a legally binding agreement in place for the 2020/21 E-rate Funding Year.
  • If your organization’s CALNET Authorization to Order (ATO) shows an expiration date of June 30, 2021, and you procured CALNET services through an E-rate compliant competitive bidding process, you may use your current ATO as evidence of a legally binding agreement for your Funding Year 2020 funding request. Make sure to download a copy of the authorized contract extension from the CALNET website at https://cdt.ca.gov/services/calnet-services/. The extensions are available under the Categories 2-7 IFB B Amendments menu. Retain this amendment documenting the extension in addition to your ATO for a minimum of 10 years from the contract’s end date.

California Funding Commitment Summary

Funding Year 2019

USAC released FY2019 Wave 47 on February 20, 2020. Cumulative commitments for California applicants are $296.9 Million.

Funding Year 2018

As of January 13, 2020, cumulative commitments for California applicants are $279.5 Million.

Pending Dates and Deadlines

E-rate deadlines may be viewed or calculated on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website at https://www.usac.org/sl/tools/deadlines/default.aspx.

FCC Form 471 Filing Window for Funding Year 2020

The deadline to file your organization’s annual FCC Form 471 application(s) for E-rate funding will close at 8:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. All applicants who are seeking E-rate funding for eligible services delivered between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, must file their annual FCC Form 471 funding requests in USAC’s E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) online portal by the March 25 deadline.

FCC Form 486 Filing Reminder

The FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children's Internet Protection Act Certification Form) at https://www.usac.org/wp-content/uploads/e-rate/documents/486.pdf 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 2019

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. For ongoing recurring services, starting on July 1, 2019, the following deadlines have passed or are approaching in the next month.

Waves #

FCDL
Date

Form 486 Due Date

1-30

04/27/2019-10/24/2019

Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2019

31

10/31/2019

2/28/2020

32

11/7/2019

3/6/2020

33

11/14/2019

3/13/2020

34

11/21/2019

3/20/2020

Funding Year 2018

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. For ongoing recurring services, starting on July 1, 2018, the following deadlines have passed or are approaching in the next month.

Waves #

FCDL
Date

Form 486 Due Date

1-66

04/20/2018-10/21/2019

Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2018

68

11/04/2019

03/03/2020

69

No California commitments

70

11/18/2019

03/17/2020

71

11/25/2019

03/24/2020

72

12/2/2019

03/31/2020

 

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 applicants are coming soon.

USAC Webinars

Recordings of previous webinars registration for upcoming webinars are posted on the USAC website at https://www.usac.org/e-rate/learn/webinars/.

E-rate Office Hour Webinar: Service Provider Selection and FCC Form 471

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM PT

K12 High Speed Network E-rate Resources

Visit the K12 HSN website at https://www.k12hsn.org/resources/erate/training to access the new E-Rate Training Roadmap and Resource Guide and supplemental training materials including recordings of previous webinars, most recently two webinars recorded in December outlining changes in the Category Two program. Webinars geared to participants in the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) are also scheduled through March.

Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) Filing FCC Form 471 for Services Transferred from Grant

Date(s):

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 2:00 PM PT

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 10:00 AM PT

Registration Link: http://icoe.k12oms.org/1398-181113

E-rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Collect Information Necessary to Complete FCC Form 471 Funding Request

For each FCC Form 471 funding request, the school or library applicant is required to report various data elements. Once the competitive bidding process concludes, applicants are encouraged to work with their awarded service providers to collect the information necessary to successfully complete their FCC Form 471 funding request(s).

Manage Contracts

If a contract is awarded for service, the applicant will be required to create a contract record in the “Manage Contracts” module in the EPC before it can successfully create a funding request. The contract record includes information such as the associated FCC Form 470, number of bids received, Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN), date the contract was awarded, and if it has any extensions. Note that for services under month-to-month or tariff terms, the FCC Form 470, number of bids received, and SPIN will be reported directly in the Funding Request on the FCC Form 471.

Funding Request

Each Funding Request in the FCC Form 471 is assigned a Funding Request Number (FRN). In the Funding Request the applicant will be required to report the associated EPC contract record (if applicable), the anticipated service start and end dates, and the contract end date (if applicable). The applicant may use the narrative section to further describe the funding request and address any anomalies in EPC, such as incorrect enrollment and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) data or any missing entities.

FRN Line Items

Each Funding Request may have one or more FRN Line Items. The FRN Line Items capture the types of service, how the service is used, the cost of service, and the recipients of service. The FRN Line Items, particularly for Category Two funding requests, can be very time consuming to prepare, so it is important to allow for adequate time to complete these successfully. USAC has published Bulk Upload templates that applicants or service providers may utilize to pre-prepare the required information and upload the details into EPC. Bulk Uploads and the Bulk Upload User Guide can be found at https://www.usac.org/e-rate/applicant-process/applying-for-discounts/fcc-form-471-filing/

Taxes and Surcharges

When completing individual FRN Line Items, applicants should be separating the Monthly Recurring Costs or One-Time Costs from the taxes and surcharges of the associated service or product. Taxes and Surcharges are best described by the “Miscellaneous” Function and “Taxes and USF Fees” Type of Connection within the FCC Form 471. Applicants should be prepared to provide FRN source documentation to support the Taxes and Surcharges fees during PIA review.