October 3, 2014

Please continue to check the E-rate Modernization Order web page for links to additional information.

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you intend to file an FCC Form 470 now for FY2015, please review and follow the guidance below. We strongly suggest that you file AND CERTIFY your form promptly if you use the existing form.

Commitments for Funding Years 2014 and 2013

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 22 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 8. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of October 3, FY2014 commitments total over $1.96 billion.

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release FY2013 Wave 68 FCDLs on October 9. his wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of October 3, FY2013 commitments total over $2.11 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.

FY2013 Invoice Deadline for Recurring Services - October 28, 2014

Recurring services are services delivered continuously or at regular intervals. Examples of recurring services include basic telephone service, monthly Internet access, and basic maintenance of internal connections. Recurring services must be delivered during the funding year – that is, between July 1 and the following June 30.

The deadline for invoicing USAC for recurring services is calculated as follows:

  • 120 days after the last date to receive services (which is generally June 30 of the funding year) or
  • 120 days after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter

whichever is later.

October 28, 2014 is the deadline for most applicants and service providers to invoice USAC for FY2013 recurring services. This deadline applies if the date of your FY2013 FCC Form 486 Notification Letter is on or before June 30, 2014.
  • If your FRN is for non-recurring services or the date on your FCC Form 486 Notification Letter is after June 30, your invoice deadline is later than October 28. For example, the deadline for delivery and installation of non-recurring services is generally September 30 following the close of the funding year, so your invoice deadline for non-recurring services would be calculated based on September 30 rather than June 30.

This October 28 deadline applies to both invoice forms:

  • The FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, is filed by the applicant and approved by the service provider after the applicant has paid for the services in full.
  • The FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, is filed by the service provider after the service provider has billed the applicant for the applicant's non-discount share of the cost of the services.

If your invoice is not received or postmarked on or before your invoice deadline, you must apply for and receive an invoice deadline extension before you can submit your invoice. This applies to applicants filing BEAR Forms and to service providers filing SPI Forms.

- Tips for applicants filing BEAR Forms

  • Gather your customer bills and do a reconciliation. Before you file your last BEAR Form for FY2013 recurring services, make sure that you are not invoicing USAC twice for the same service period or skipping a service period. Remember that you are invoicing USAC for discounts on the cost of services that were approved by USAC on an FCDL and actually received.
  • Make sure your service providers have filed a FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form, for FY2013. USAC will not pay invoices for a funding year unless a SPAC Form is on file for that year. You can Search for SPIN Information on the USAC website to determine if your service provider has filed this form for FY2013.
  • Allow sufficient time for your service provider(s) to review and approve your forms. This is especially important if you are requesting reimbursement for an entire year of service on a single BEAR Form. If you're not sure how long your service provider's review and approval process will take, ask your service provider.
  • Check with your service providers to see if they know how to use their online access to USAC's E-file System. Service providers use the E-file System for a number of actions, including reviewing and approving BEAR Forms. If your service providers do not use the E-file System, suggest that they call USAC at 1-888-641-8722 (choose the "FCC Form 498" option) for assistance.
  • File your BEAR Form online. The online system allows you to file your information quickly and easily, populates some information automatically based on your entries, and warns you in many cases if you enter incorrect or inconsistent information. Before you file online, make sure that your service providers are able to review and approve BEAR Forms online.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to file your FY2013 BEAR Forms. Applicants should be filing their final BEAR Forms for FY2013 recurring services now.

- Tips for service providers approving BEAR Forms

  • Tell your customers what your requirements are for reviewing and approving BEAR Forms. If you communicate up front with applicants about the amount of time and any documentation you need in order to review and approve BEAR Forms, you will save time and reduce frustration for them and for you.
  • Get online access to review and approve BEAR Forms. Service providers should already have online access to USAC's E-File System. If you don't have online access or you don't know how to use your login information, call USAC at 1-888-641-8722 (choose the "FCC Form 498" option) and ask for assistance.
  • Check online once each week for pending BEAR Forms. Although USAC will send you an email message when an applicant files a BEAR Form online, you do not need to wait to receive the email before you review a form. If you log in to the E-file System and check for pending BEAR Forms once each week, you will ensure that you won't miss any forms needing approval.
  • Do not simply click the "Certify" button at the bottom of the online form – that action will reject the entire form. You must approve each line item by clicking the box to the right of the item, or by clicking the blanket approval box at the top of the list of line items to approve all items.

- Tips for service providers filing SPI Forms

  • Gather your customer bills and do a reconciliation before filing a SPI Form. Make sure before you file your last SPI Form for FY2013 recurring services that you are not invoicing USAC twice for the same service period or skipping a service period. Remember that you are invoicing USAC for discounts on the cost of services that were approved by USAC on an FCDL and then actually delivered.
  • Make sure you have filed an FCC Form 473 (SPAC Form) for FY2013. USAC will not pay invoices for a funding year unless a SPAC Form is on file for that funding year. You can Search for SPIN Information on the USAC website to determine if you filed this form with USAC for a funding year.
  • File your SPI Form online or electronically. The online system allows you to file your information quickly and easily. You do not need access to the E-file System to file SPI Forms online. If you want to file SPI Forms electronically by emailing USAC a comma-delimited file with your invoice information, review the electronic invoicing guidance on the USAC website for assistance. 

Posting an FCC Form 470 Now for FY2015 Services

We are providing the following guidance for applicants who want to file an FCC Form 470 now to post for FY2015 services. Until the revised FCC Form 470 is available for FY2015, applicants should include the following steps when filing online:

Choose "FY2014: July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015" from the dropdown menu in Item 2.

After you complete Block 1, receive your 15-digit application number and click "Next>>", check the box on the following page for each service type under which you want to request services. Those service types are Priority One Services (Telecommunications and/or Internet Access), Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.

  • We suggest that you review the draft Eligible Services List for FY2015 before you begin listing services, as the eligibility of some services will change for FY2015. You should also review the final Eligible Services List for FY2015 and compare the services that are eligible to the services listed on your FCC Form 470.

If you are not sure of the correct service type to choose for a particular service, post for that service in both service types. This will be especially important for Managed Internal Broadband Services – a new service type for FY2015 – because you must include those services in the Internal Connections service type if you are using the FY2014 version of the form.

When you reach Item 13, locate the text box marked "If you are requesting services for a funding year for which an FCC Form 470 cannot yet be filed online, include that information here." In this text box, indicate that this FCC Form 470 is for FY2015 requests.

  • Note: In the August 8, 2014 SL News Brief, we indicated that you must wait for the FY2015 option to become available online before you can file a request for services that will be provided under tariff or on a month-to-month basis. For FY2015, we will instead be using the posting date and the information in Item 13 to verify that the form was intended for FY2015 services. The comment in the August 8 SL News Brief has therefore been removed – please update your records.

We will post the revised FCC Form 470 for FY2015 when it is approved by the Office of Management and Budget. If you want to file your form now, you should file and certify your FCC Form 470 as soon as possible if you are following the guidance above. We will not be able to process an FY2014 paper certification – and you may lose the data from an incomplete form started online – if you do not submit and certify your form before the revised form is posted to the USAC website.

As a reminder, the 28-day posting requirement for the FCC Form 470 is a MINIMUM requirement. The competitive bidding process – and therefore the length of time that an FCC Form 470 is posted and available – can be greater than 28 days.


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