Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

FAQs: E-rate Productivity Center (EPC)

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Q1: How do I get a user account in EPC?

A1: Your organization's account administrator can set you up as a user in EPC. If your account administrator is not sure how to do this, he or she can:

In general, your user account will be set up with one of these three levels of rights (permissions):

  • Full rights – You can modify information on your organization and complete and certify program forms.
  • Partial rights – You can modify information on your organization and complete but not certify program forms.
  • View-only rights – You can view but not modify information on your organization and view but not complete or certify program forms.

A new user will not appear on an organization account until he or she has logged in to EPC and accepted the terms and conditions of use.

For a demonstration of the full login process, watch the Logging in to EPC video.

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Q2: How do I set up account administrator access in EPC?

A2: Before you can be an account administrator, your organization must have an account in EPC. Organization accounts can be set up for the following types of applicants:

  • Independent schools
  • Independent libraries
  • School districts
  • Library systems
  • Consortia

USAC started setting up organization accounts back in July 2015 based on the information from FY2015 FCC Forms 471.

  • If an organization had a single authorized person for all of its FCC Forms 471:
    • USAC set up that authorized person as the account administrator for that organization
    • USAC sent an email invitation to that individual with instructions on how to set up a password and log in to EPC.

If you believe you were set up as an account administrator for one of the above types of entities but you cannot locate USAC's earlier email, you can do the following:

  1. Open a browser, go to the EPC login page and click the "I Agree" button.
  2. On the next screen, click "Reset Your Password."
  3. On the next screen, enter your email address in the "Username" field and click "Request Password Reset." 

If you were set up as an account administrator, you will then receive the email from USAC with instructions on how to proceed.

If you do not receive an email – or you do not believe you were set up as an account administrator – call CSB at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.

  • Be ready to provide your organization's billed entity number and contact information.
  • You also may be asked for proof that you are an employee of your organization – a letter on your organization's letterhead or your email address from the organization's domain name are generally sufficient.

Your current account administrator can also transfer account administrator rights to you.

  • Your account administrator must first set you up as a user on the organization's account.
  • You will not appear on the organization account until you have logged in to EPC and accepted the terms and conditions of use. (CSB can also help you transfer account administrator rights if your current account administrator is not available.)

Watch the video Modifying an Account Administrator for guidance on transferring account administrator responsibilities.

Read the Managing Users user guide, or watch the How to Create a New User video for guidance on creating new users.

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Q3: How do I create an organization in EPC?

A3: The Client Service Bureau (CSB) must create an organization in EPC. Organizations can be parent organizations or child organizations.

  • Parent organizations, such as school districts, library systems, and consortia, make decisions and file forms on behalf of their child organizations. They have their own accounts in EPC. This also includes independent schools and independent libraries.
  • Child organizations, such as individual schools within a school district and individual libraries in a library system, are featured on the accounts of their parent organizations. They do not have their own accounts in EPC.

Before you call CSB:

  • Locate the entity number(s) of the organization(s) you want to create.

If your organization is new and does not yet have an entity number:

  • CSB can create the organization for you and assign it an entity number.
  • Be sure to have the contact information for the organization (address, city, state, zip code, telephone number, email address) ready before you call.
  • If the organization is a parent organization, CSB will need to set up an account administrator.

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Q4: How do I create a customer service case?

A4: To create a customer service case:

Navigate to Actions → Contact Us

    1. Enter the Case Details.
    2. Select the topic and priority.
    3. Upload any documents as needed.
    4. Enter the Case Contact Information.
    5. Click Submit.

Q5: How do I change my profile image?

A5: To change your profile images:

    1. After logging in, access your profile.
    2. Hover your mouse over the large image to see the available options.
    3. Click Change cover to change the large image.
    4. Click Change photo to change the smaller image.

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Q6: What is listed under My Tasks?

A6: The task list will display all tasks for your organization. When a task is assigned to you it will be listed in your Tasks.

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Q7: What do the user permissions mean?

A7: Users associated to organizations have permission levels View-Only, Partial, and Full, defined as:

  • View-Only – can only see all information associated with the organization (including draft objects, and customer service cases) and create customer service cases
  • Partial – Includes all View-Only rights, and can also create objects (but cannot sign/certify)
  • Full – Includes all View-Only rights, Partial rights, and can also sign/certify

For applicant organizations, users can designate Full/Partial/View-Only rights on the following objects:

  • FCC Form 470
  • FCC Form 471

For service provider organizations, users can designate Full/Partial/View-Only rights on the following objects:

  • Invoices
  • FCC Form 493 (SPAC)

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Q8: How do I create an applicant user?

A8: The organization's account administrator can create users in the account.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities/Consulting Firms → <Select the Organization> → Create a New User

    1. Enter the details for the new user.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. Confirm the information and select Submit.

Read the Managing Users user guide, or watch the How to Create a New User video for guidance on creating new users.

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Q9: How do I add a consultant to an organization?

A9: The organization's account administrator can add consultants to an organization. The consulting firm must be related to the applicant entity, and the consultant must be an existing user in the system. To create a new user see Create a New User above.

To add a consultant to an organization:

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> → Related Actions → Add or Remove Existing Users

    1. On the Manage User Organization Associations page, enter the consultant's name or email address in the Search for Users to Add section.
    2. Select the checkbox for the user, then select Submit.
    3. Confirm that the consultant will be added to the organization with view-only permissions for forms.

To change the permissions:

    1. Use the Manage User Permissions function.

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Q10: How do I manage user permissions?

A10: The organization's account administrator can modify user permissions:

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities/Consulting Firms → <Select the Organization> → Related Actions → Manage User Permissions

    1. Locate the name of the user in the list.
    2. Use the drop-down menus to select the permissions a user should have, either Full (can create, edit, and certify a form), Partial (can create or edit a form), or view only. You can set permissions for all forms at once using the Apply All drop-down menu.
    3. Click Submit.

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Q11: How do I update an organization's contact information?

A11: The organization's account administrator can create and update the organization's information.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities/Consulting Firms → <Select the Organization> Related Actions

    1. Select Manage Organization. The organization details open.
    2. Make any necessary changes to the organization details.
    3. Select Submit. You will receive a notice that the changes must be approved by a customer service representative. If you are the account administrator, you will receive an email when the changes are approved.

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Q12: How do I modify an organization's account administrator?

A12: The organization's account administrator can modify the account administrator.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> → Related Actions

    1. Select Modify Account Administrator. The organization details open displaying users.
    2. To change the account administrator, uncheck the box for the current administrator if necessary, then select the new administrator from the list.
    3. Select Continue.
    4. Confirm the new account administrator information, then select Submit.

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Q13: How do I change an organization's general contact?

A13: The organization's account administrator can modify the general contact.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities/Consulting Firms → <Select the Organization> Related Actions

    1. Select Manage General Contact. The organization details open displaying the associated users.
    2. To add a new General Contact, first de-select the current General Contact if necessary, then select the new General Contact from the list.
    3. Click Continue.
    4. Confirm the new General Contact, then select Submit.

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Q14: How do I add an annex?

A14: The organization's account administrator can manage annexes. An annex is a location associated with an entity that will have the same BEN but a different address. You can add an annex to a school or library, but not a school district or library system.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Annexes

    1. Select Add New Annex.
    2. Enter the name, address, and contact information for the annex.
    3. Click Add New Annex.
    4. Confirm.

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Q15: How do I add a NIF to a school?

A15: The organization's account administrator can add a NIF to a school (cannot be added to a school district).

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Organization Relationships

    1. Select Add a Child Entity.
    2. On the Organization Type drop-down select Non-Instructional Facility.
    3. Enter information for the entity to search, for example, BEN, name, or zip code.
    4. Select the Non-Instructional Facility from the list.
    5. Select Submit and confirm.

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Q16: How do I add my organization to a consortium?

A16: The organization's account administrator can sign up for a consortium.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Organization Relationships

    1. Select Sign Up for a Consortium.
    2. Enter information for the entity to search, for example, name, state, or zip code. Click Search.
    3. Select the consortium from the list.
    4. Select Submit and confirm.

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Q17: How do I add an organization to my consortium?

A17: The consortium's account administrator can add members.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Organization Relationships

    1. Select Add Consortium Member.
    2. Enter information for the entity to search, for example, name, state, or zip code. Click Search.
    3. Select the organization from the list.
    4. Select Submit and confirm.

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Q18: How do I add a consulting firm to an organization?

A18: The organization's account administrator can add a consulting firm.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Organization Relationships

    1. Select Add a Consulting Firm.
    2. Enter information for the entity to search, for example, CRN, name, or zip code.
    3. Select the consulting firm from the Add Relationships list.
    4. Select Submit and confirm.

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Q19: How do I remove a relationship (child entity, consulting firm, NIF)?

A19: The organization's account administrator can remove a relationship.

Navigate to Records → Applicant Entities → <Select the Applicant Entity> Related Actions → Manage Organization Relationships

    1. Select Remove a Relationship.
    2. Select the relationship to remove from the list.
    3. Select Submit and confirm.

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Q20: How do I create a whistleblower case?

A20: To create a whistleblower case:

    1. Select Actions from the top menu
    2. Select Create a Whistleblower Case
    3. Enter the case details as needed
      • Title
      • Description
      • Topic
      • Priority
      • Case Contact
    4. Select Submit.

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Q21: How do I navigate through the FCC Form 470 in EPC?

A21: You have three options for learning how to navigate in the FCC Form 470:

    1. Watch the series of videos on filing an FCC Form 470.
    2. Read through the FCC Form 470 User Guide. You can also review the following School and Libraries (SL) News Briefs for information on completing each section of the form:
    3. Log in to your organization's account in EPC:
      • Click the FCC Form 470 link from your Landing page.
  • NOTE: As long as you do not certify the form, you can practice navigating through an FCC Form 470.
      • Click the "Discard" button at the bottom of any page in the form to permanently remove the form from USAC's records.

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Q22: How do I get the status of a form or request I have submitted?

A22: For some forms and requests, you can locate the status yourself; for others, you must call CSB at (888) 203-8100.

  • FY2016 FCC Forms 470 are all in EPC. Generally the status of these forms is either incomplete or certified. You can review the status of forms in the list at the bottom of your landing page:
    • Click the FCC Form 470 hyperlink in that table, you will be taken to the form's record.
    • From there, you can select "Generated Documents" on the left-hand side to view a PDF version of the form.
    • The day after a form is certified, you can also verify its status by using the View an FCC Form 470 (FY2016-17) on the Search Tools page of the USAC website.
  • The status of FY2015 FCC Forms 471 is featured on the View 471 Status tool on the Search Tools page of the USAC website.
  • For the status of data entry of a paper form – FCC Forms 472, 473, 474, 486, and 500 can be (or must be) submitted on paper – call CSB. In fact, CSB may be waiting for your call because they have encountered a data entry issue and are trying to contact you.
  • To find out if an FCC Form 486 (paper or electronic) has been successfully processed:
    • Go to the Data Retrieval Tool on the USAC website.
    • Enter your billed entity number in the "BEN" field,
    • Click the "Create Standard Report" button at the bottom of the page.
    • In your search results, any Funding Request Number (FRN) with an entry in the FCC Form 486 Service Start Date field ("486 SSD") indicates a successfully processed FCC Form 486.
  • To find out if an invoice deadline extension request has been processed, go to the FRN Extension Table on the USAC website and search for your FRN.
    • If the table has not been updated to include the status of your FRN, you can call CSB to get its status.
  • For the status of all other requests – service delivery extensions, service substitutions, SPIN changes, and appeals – call CSB.

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