Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

Step 1 Competitive Bidding

Updated September 2015

Letters of Agency (LOAs)

The authorized person on the FCC Form 471 – the person whose signature appears below the FCC Form 471 certifications – certifies that he or she is the person authorized to submit and certify to the accuracy of the application.

This person must be authorized to represent any and all of the entities for which discounts are sought in the funding requests featured on the application. During its review of the FCC Form 471, USAC may require copies of the documentation that confirms this person's authorization to represent all of the entities featured on the FCC Form 471.

The evidence that establishes this authorization, and therefore establishes the relationship between the authorized person and the entities featured on the form, is generally a Letter of Agency (LOA).

Consortium Letters of Agency

A Letter of Agency (LOA) is most commonly signed by consortium members and kept on file by their consortium leader to verify their knowledge of their membership and participation in the consortium. Other vehicles to establish this authorization could be a project agreement, a contract, a letter agreement, or other similar document. The consortium LOA must be signed and dated on or before the date the FCC Form 471 was certified.

Whatever the form of the document establishing the above authorization, it must contain all of the following:

  • The name of the person filing the application (the consortium leader)
  • The name of the person authorizing the filing of the application (the entity who will receive discounted services, such as a consortium member)
  • The specific timeframe the LOA or authorizing document covers (for example, the Schools and Libraries Funding Year (FY) 2016)
  • The signature, signature date, and title of an official who is an employee of the entity who is authorizing the filing of the application (the entity who will receive discounted services, such as a consortium member)
  • The type of services covered by the LOA or authorizing document (the description of services can be as general as "all E-rate Program eligible services" or it can be more restrictive)

The timeframes of these authorizations cannot be open-ended, such as "until terminated by either party."

In certain situations, other documentation may be accepted as proof of authorization. For example, for consortium applications, the consortium lead member must either collect LOAs from each consortium member or be able to provide some other proof that each consortium member knew it was represented on the application. Consortia which have a statutory or regulatory basis and for which participation by schools or libraries is mandatory must be able to provide documentation supporting this certification, including copies of the relevant state statute or regulation.

If the LOA authorizes a consortium leader to apply for discounted services on your behalf, then it must be signed and dated on or before the date the FCC Form 471 was certified. 

Follow this link for a sample Letter of Agency that can be used as a reference guide.