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USAC assigns a unique identifying number to each eligible entity that participates in the Schools and Libraries Program. An entity can be an individual school, a library outlet/branch, a bookmobile, a school district, or a library system, or it can be an administrative office or other Non-Instructional Facility (NIF). This number assigned by USAC is called an entity number.
If an entity pays the service provider for products and/or services delivered to eligible schools and libraries, that entity is called a billed entity. USAC assigns this entity a Billed Entity Number (BEN). There is no visible difference between a number assigned as a BEN and a number assigned as an entity number. An eligible entity that pays the bills and requests a discount does not need two numbers.
A billed entity is not required to be - but may be - an eligible entity. An ineligible entity, such as city or local government, may be assigned a BEN if it pays the bills to service providers for eligible services on behalf of eligible entities.
The FCC Form 470 applicant is not required to be the billed entity that will appear on the FCC Form 471. However, all BENs that may be paying the service provider bills must be reported on the FCC Form 470, Block 4, Item 17. If a billed entity is not eligible to receive discounted services it should also be listed in FCC Form 470, Block 4, Item 18, if it is part of the project to be bid.
The FCC Form 471 requires the billed entity be listed in Block 1. If the billed entity is eligible and is requesting discounted services, it must also be listed in the FCC Form 471, Block 4 worksheet. The Block 1 applicant of all other applicant forms must be the billed entity. Although you may have listed multiple BENs in Block 4 of your FCC Form 470, each BEN must file its own FCC Form 471.
USAC does validate the information provided when an entity number is created and that validation includes assignment of Block 1 authorization or billed entity status.
To review the information for an entity in USAC's database, go to the Entity Number search tool and search for an entity using the criteria listed. If you find your entity, verify that the information listed is correct. If changes are necessary or if no entity number is found, contact our Client Service Bureau (CSB).
To update your entity number, all you need to have is the entity number for the entity being updated.
To create an entity number, the following information should be on hand:
In general, CSB can process requests for up to two new entity numbers, new or existing, over the phone at (888) 203-8100.
If you need more than two new entity numbers, we encourage you to send your request using Submit a Question (choose "Entity Number" from the Topics menu and then choose "I need an entity number for a new entity") or by fax to (888) 276-8736. Be sure to provide the information outlined above for each entity.