The countdown is based on server time, which is currently:
A consultant is defined as any non-employee of the entity applying for funding that assists in filling out the application materials for a fee. Consulting firms in EPC may be organizations with one or more employees or they may be individuals.
A consulting firm must obtain a Consultant Registration Number (CRN), a unique eight-digit identification number assigned by USAC. Employees of a consulting firm do not obtain individual CRNs; instead, they use the CRN of the consulting firm that employs them.
Applicants that use the services of a consultant must identify the consultant by entering the consulting firm's CRN in the applicant's E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account profile, and adding individual consultants within the consulting firm as existing users.
To request a CRN or to change information linked to an existing CRN, a consultant should call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 and be prepared to provide the following consultant information:
Provide the following information for the person who should be assigned the account administrator role for the consulting firm:
If there is already a CRN on file, and if there are no changes to any of the contact information, USAC will provide the CRN over the phone.
If there is no CRN on file, USAC will create a new record. If there are changes required to an existing record, USAC will request that the changes be sent by email.
When you assign user rights to your consultant, you can choose from three permission levels:
Schools and libraries can only link consultants with accounts in EPC to their organization. Do not create an account for the consultant through the school/library.
It is especially important that the school/library does not make their consultant the "account administrator." For security purposes, the account administrator must be an employee of the school or library.
Instead, the consultant needs to create their account through their consulting organization (which has its own, separate EPC account), and then ask the school/library to link them to the school/library organization.