Schools and Libraries News Brief
January 14, 2011



Days to window close


Forms 470 filed to date


Forms 471 filed to date




TIP OF THE WEEK: If you plan to post a Form 470 for FY2011, you should do so promptly. February 24, 2011 is the last day you can POST a Form 470 to the USAC website and still comply with the 28-day waiting period under the competitive bidding requirement.

Commitments for Funding Year 2010

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 34 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) January 19. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) at 81% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of January 14, FY2010 commitments total just over $2.10 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

First Applicants File FY2011 Forms 471 and Item 21 Attachments Online

Congratulations to the first applicants that filed and certified a Form 471 for FY2011 – including the Item 21 attachment(s) – online! Applicants that file early have a much better chance of being included in the earliest funding waves for a funding year.

The first successful online filers were:

  • First individual school: ASSEMBLY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • First school district: WINNETT SCHOOL DISTRICT 1, Winnett, Montana
  • First library: VICKSBURG DISTRICT LIBRARY, Vicksburg, Michigan
  • First consortium: MIDLAND COUNTY SCHOOLS INTERNET CONSORTIUM, Midland, Michigan

Remember that the Item 21 attachment is a window filing requirement for FY2011.

Getting Ready for the FY2011 Application Cycle

As announced in the January 7, 2011 SL News Brief, the FY2011 Form 471 application filing window opened at noon EST on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 and will close at 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, March 24, 2011. We want to remind you of important program deadlines and other information you should keep in mind as you apply for discounts.

File early. Over half of the Forms 471 for a funding year are filed in the last week of the filing window. When you are in a hurry to fill out an application in time to meet a receipt or postmark deadline, it is very easy to overlook crucial information that may slow down our review of your application. Also, the Client Service Bureau is very busy as the window deadline approaches and it will be harder for you to request new entity numbers, copies of forms, or specific program information if you wait until the last minute.

File online. The online filing system alerts applicants to common errors or possible inconsistencies in the data they provide as they are filling out their forms. You can use the full version of a form or an interview version that fills out the form for you using a simple question-and-answer format.

The online system delivers your form to USAC quickly and completely and allows you to print a copy of the form for your records. You can also start a form online, save your work, and come back to finish it later as long as you have the Form 471 application number and security code assigned to you after you complete Block 1 of the form online.

Here are a few suggestions for online filing. You can find more details on these and other items on the Tips and Troubleshooting web page:

  • Use Internet Explorer 7.x or 8.x for filing program forms online. Other browsers may cause errors.
  • Clear your cache (temporary Internet files) after you submit or exit a form if you intend to start or view another form.
  • Disable your Internet Explorer content advisor.
  • Enable cookies.
  • Turn off pop-up blockers.

Certify online. USAC’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) system will automatically issue a PIN to the authorized person filing a paper form if he or she does not already have one. (Note that PINs are specific to the authorized person AND the Billed Entity featured in Block 1 of the form.) After the authorized person receives a PIN in the mail, he or she can use it to certify subsequent program forms online for that Billed Entity. If you are filing a Form 470 for the first time, you should have a PIN in time to certify your associated Form 471.

The certification process is safe and secure. Each time you certify a form online, the online system will assign you a unique confirmation number called a CertID as verification that your online certification was successful. You don’t need to send USAC a paper copy of your certification page if you successfully certify a form online. However, we suggest that you make a note of your CertID or print and retain a copy of the certification page featuring your CertID.

Be mindful of program deadlines. Here are two deadlines to keep in mind:

February 24, 2011. This is the last possible day that a Form 470 can be posted on the USAC website and still meet the 28-day posting requirement for your competitive bidding process. However, if you wait until this day to post your form, then you must do the following on the last day of the filing window:

  • Select your service provider
  • Sign and date your contract (for contracted services)
  • Sign, date, and submit your Form 471

If you file your Form 470 on paper, remember that you must allow sufficient time for your form to be data entered and posted to USAC's website. We suggest that you send paper forms to USAC in time for us to RECEIVE them no later than February 17, 2011. It is your responsibility to meet the 28-day requirement.

March 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm EDT. This is the last possible day that a Form 471 can be received by USAC or postmarked and still be considered as filed within the window. Remember that USAC must consider ALL applications filed within the window before considering any applications filed outside the window.

Review program guidance materials. Some program information is consistent from year to year while other information may have changed. Before you begin, be sure to review all relevant program guidance. You can locate guidance documents in any of the following ways:

  • Perform a search. If you know the topic you are interested in, enter one or more keywords in the Search field at the top of any USAC web page and click on the arrow to the right of the field. Your search will return a list of documents that feature the keyword(s) you entered.
  • Review the list of documents in the Reference Area. The Reference Area of the website features an alphabetized list of guidance documents. You can scan the list for a particular topic or use your browser's Find command to search for a keyword.
  • Follow the appropriate step in the application process. In the center of most Schools and Libraries web pages, there is a blue bar labeled School and Library Applicants and a blue bar labeled Service Providers. If you click on one of these blue bars, it will turn orange and you will see a list of steps in the application process. If you then click on a step, you will see a short description of that step and a list of related documents that contain additional guidance and/or information.

For FY2011 applications, we suggest that you refer to the FCC's Sixth Report and Order (FCC 10-175), the additional information provided in the Order (DA 10-2355) and Public Notice (DA 10-2356) released after the Sixth Report and Order, and the FY2011 Eligible Services List.

Ask for assistance. If you have questions, please contact the Client Service Bureau by email using Submit a Question or call toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. In addition to program information, they can provide information on the status of your forms.


You may download and print copies of Schools and Libraries News Briefs on USAC’s website. You may subscribe to or unsubscribe from this news brief. For program information, please visit the Schools and Libraries area of the USAC website, submit a question, or call us toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. Feel free to forward this news brief to any interested parties.

Please do not reply to this email directly, as it was sent from an unattended mailbox.

1997-2011, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.