E-rate News Flash
Important Deadline Reminder: Filing FCC Form 500 Service Delivery and Contract Extensions
The deadline for delivery and installation of non-recurring services such as Category One broadband installation and Category Two Internal Connections is generally September 30, following the close of the funding year. Applicants with funding requests that contain non-recurring products or services that have not yet been delivered or installed must start working now on filing the FCC Form 500 to request USAC to extend the service delivery deadline and report extended contract end dates.
The service delivery and/or contract extension requests must be submitted to USAC on or before the September 30, 2019, deadline. Requests received after this deadline cannot be processed by USAC. The applicant must request a service delivery extension by filing the request on an FCC Form 500. Please refer to the E-rate News Flash 19-13 at https://www.k12hsn.org/news/e-rate-news-flash-19-13 for additional information on filing the FCC Form 500.
Important Deadline Reminder: October 29, 2019, Invoice Deadline
The deadline for invoicing of Funding Year 2018 recurring services and one-time special construction is October 28, 2019. This is the last date an applicant may file a FCC Form 472 Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form or a service provider may file a FCC Form 474 Service Provider Invoice (SPI) for E-rate reimbursement without an extension.
One-Time Request for Extension
Applicants or service providers may request a single one-time 120-day extension to file additional claims for reimbursement. However, the Invoice Deadline Extension Request must be submitted to USAC on or before the October 28, 2019, deadline. Requests received after this deadline cannot be processed by USAC. There is no penalty to file an extension request, and all requests that are filed by the deadline will be granted. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not invoicing is complete on a Funding Request, it is best to file the request for extension.
California Funding Commitment Summary
Funding Year 2019
USAC released FY2019 Waves 18-20, 22-24 weekly on August 15, 2019, through September 12, 2019. As of September 18, 2019, cumulative commitments for California applicants for Category One are $181,163,078.69 and $45,509,412.39 for Category Two. USAC did not issue a Wave 21.
Funding Year 2018
USAC released FY2018 Wave 61 on September 16, 2019.As of September 18, 2019, cumulative commitments for California applicants for Category One are $219,173,970.67 and $58,674,412.34 for Category Two.
Pending Dates and Deadlines
Applicants may view or calculate their E-rate deadlines on USAC's website at https://www.usac.org/sl/tools/deadlines/default.aspx.
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/_res/documents/sl/pdf/forms/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
The First FCC Form 486 deadline for FY 2019 is October 28, 2019, for funding waves 1-10 with services starting July 1, 2019. 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.
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.
Upcoming Training Events
Numerous training opportunities available for E-rate applicants.
USAC Applicant Fall Training Event
USAC still has space available at its October 31 – November 1, 2019 applicant training event to be held at the California State University, San Marcos. The training, available to attendees free of charge, begins with an optional half-day afternoon session targeted to beginners followed by a full-day training that includes separate breakout sessions for beginners and for more advanced users. USAC Applicant Fall Training Event registration is available at https://events.eply.com/2019ErateApplicantandServiceProviderTrainings2955221.
Recordings of previous webinars are posted on the USAC website at https://www.usac.org/sl/about/outreach/training/webinars.aspx.
K12 High Speed Network Webinars
Recordings of previous webinars are posted on the K12HSN website at https://www.k12hsn.org/resources/erate/trainings.
E-rate Process: Activities to Work on Now
Review Bills for E-rate Credits and FRN Status Tool for Disbursements
As we approach the invoicing deadlines for Funding Year 2018, it is a good practice for applicants to reconcile bills to determine if the E-rate discounts received are accurate. Category One service providers often post the E-rate discount in the credit section of the bill. Category Two service providers may post it as a discount or a credit on the bill. Remember that these credits are issued as a result of the applicant selecting the Service Provider Invoice (SPI) method of E-rate reimbursement and communicating this preference to the service provider in a timely manner.
Applicants may then compare the discounts or credits received against funds that have been issued by USAC to the service provider by using the FRN Status Tool (FST). If you identify discrepancies between funds issued by USAC and credits received, contact your service provider for further explanation and remediation. Note that it is important to do this now so the service provider has adequate time to submit further invoices to USAC before the approaching invoice deadlines.
FRN Status Tool
Applicants can utilize the FRN Status Tool at https://data.usac.org/publicreports/FRN/Status/FundYear to download E-rate application details by Funding Year for years 2016 through 2019. This report includes the disbursements to date for each funding request. At the very minimum, the applicant can search by its home state. However, the applicant's Billed Entity Number (BEN) will yield more condensed results.
Review Contracts and Services for Upcoming FCC Form 470 and Competitive Bidding Cycle
For Funding Year 2020 applicants should begin reviewing their existing services and contracts to determine:
- Is the existing service and contract valid for the duration of the 2020 funding year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)?
- Does the existing service and contract meet the needs and expected growth anticipated in the 2020 funding year?
The proposed Funding Year 2020 Eligible Services List is currently out for comment, however applicants can refer to the Funding Year 2019 Eligible Services List at https://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/beforeyoubegin/eligible-services-list.aspx to determine the services for which they may seek funding and begin a competitive bidding and FCC Form 470 process for Funding Year 2020.
Requesting a PIN for the FCC Form 472 Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR)
The FCC Form 472 BEAR can only be filed online through the Schools and Libraries Division legacy system.In order to submit the BEAR, the person completing the form must obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN).A PIN is requested by creating a Customer Service Case through EPC or contacting USAC's Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 and submitting a completed PIN Request Template spreadsheet. The PIN Request Template is available at https://www.usac.org/sl/tools/forms/pin.aspx.
USAC will send an email with the assigned Case Number to the EPC user that submitted the Customer Service Case which will contain a link to the Customer Service Case in EPC.Once the PIN has been created, a USAC Notification will be issued indicating that the Case Number has been modified.USAC will notify you that a PIN has been created and will be emailed to you within in a certain timeframe.As always, it's best to be proactive by periodically checking on the status of your Customer Service Cases in EPC.If you do not have a PIN and will need one in order to file a BEAR Form before the October 28, 2019, invoicing deadline for FY 2018 recurring services, submit your request for a PIN as soon as possible.
Schools and Libraries Program Weekly News Briefs on E-rate
The Schools and Libraries Program (SLP), commonly known as E-rate, provides timely information and insight through their Weekly News Brief. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to sign up to receive these communications by visiting the SLP's Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/Default.aspx.