January 14, 2015 

FY2015 Window Opens Today

The FY2015 application filing window for the FCC Form 471 opens at noon EST today and closes at 11:59:59 pm EDT on Thursday, March 26, 2015. The window will be open for 72 days.

Helpful Tips and Reminders

  • File early to be sure that you meet program deadlines and have time to correct errors or file a new form if needed.
  • FY2015 FCC Forms 470 and 471 must now be filed online. Certifications can either be filed online or on paper; however, we recommend online if possible.
  • For FY2015, the funding request details for costs and services are entered directly into the online FCC Form 471. There is no longer an "Item 21 Attachment" submitted separately from the form.
  • Retain all documents to be able to demonstrate compliance with program rules.
  • Review program guidance materials – such as the FY2015 Eligible Services List and the guidance materials in the Applicant Steps on the USAC website – so that you are aware of program rules.
  • Ask for assistance if you need it (see below).


February 26, 2015 – This is the last POSSIBLE date to post an FCC Form 470 on USAC’s website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit an FCC Form 471 on the filing window closing date.

March 26, 2015 – The FY2015 application filing window will close at 11:59:59 pm EDT. For your FCC Form 471 to be considered as filed within the filing window, it must be submitted online no later than the filing window closing date.

We encourage you to certify your FCC Forms 470 and 471 immediately after you submit them. The online system gives you both electronic and paper certification options on the screen following the submission screen.


For FY2015, the online form is divided into four sections: Basic Information (corresponding to the former "Block 1"), Discount Calculation ("Block 4"), Funding Requests ("Block 5"), and Certifications & Signature ("Block 6"). The flow of the form and the information provided is similar to that from last year. However, remember that the Item 21 information is now entered directly in the form.

We will be providing additional tips and guidance during the coming days and weeks. However, following are important tips to know before you start to file you application:

  • Use a compatible browser. If you are using a Windows Operating System computer, please use Internet Explorer versions 9 or 10 or the most current version of Firefox or Chrome to file an FCC Form 471. If you are using a Mac, we suggest using the most current version of Safari.
  • Category Two budget calculation for certain libraries. Our system has not yet been updated to provide libraries with IMLS Locale Codes of 11, 12, and 21 a Category Two pre-discount budget of $5.00 per square foot (instead of $2.30 per square foot) over five years. We expect to have our system updated by February 2, 2015.
  • Whenever there is an Enter button to the right of a field, click that button after you make your entry in that field. The system will then look up and verify your entry.
  • Remember that you cannot file Category One and Category Two services on the same application. You must choose the category of services before you start the Discount Calculation section of the form.
  • If you are uploading templates (Discount Calculation and/or Funding Requests), check your connection speed. Slow connections may result in timeouts if your files are large.
  • Data entry in the Discount Calculation section. To enter your first entity in this section, click the plus sign (+).
  • Discount calculations for Voice Services. You will see a lower discount for your Voice Services. Remember that Voice Services are subject to a phase down of 20 percentage points a year starting with FY2015.
  • FCC Form 470 exemption for certain Internet access. There is an exemption from filing an FCC Form 470 if you select certain commercially available business-class Internet access services. (See the November 7, 2014 SL News Brief for the specific requirements that these services must meet to qualify for the exemption.) However, the form may allow you to enter services that don't meet all of the requirements. Review the requirements carefully before deciding not to post an FCC Form 470.
  • For each funding request (Funding Request Number or FRN), check to be sure you have cited the correct FCC Form 470 – that is, the establishing FCC Form 470 that formed the basis for the competitive bidding process that led to the services featured on that specific funding request.
  • For the necessary resources certification, the amount the applicant provides for "Total budgeted amount allocated to resources not eligible for E-rate support" defaults to zero ("0"). If zero is not the correct response, be sure to provide this total budgeted amount when completing the certification.

Ask for assistance. If you have questions, please contact our Client Service Bureau. In addition to program information, they can provide information on the status of your forms.

  • Call us toll-free at 1-888-203-8100
  • Fax us toll-free at 1-888-276-8736

Thank you for your participation in the E-rate program. 


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