January 13, 2015
Tips for the FY2015 Application Filing Window
Applicants and service providers should already be preparing for the FY2015 application filing window. The following tips will help you to do just that:
Review the information on the E-rate Modernization Order section of the USAC website. You can find information here on changes to the E-rate program that will be in effect for FY2015. Specifically, you should review the topics under the heading "Relevant News Briefs" for helpful information about these changes.
Review the FY2015 Eligible Services List. The eligibility of some products and services has changed from previous years, and it is very important that both applicants and service providers familiarize themselves with the changes. Also, note specifically that Voice Services will be filed on separate funding requests on the FCC Form 471 and are subject to a phase down of 20 percentage points each year starting with FY2015.
The FY2015 Eligible Services List (note that the Order releasing the list precedes the list itself) is posted on the Eligible Services List archive page.
File early. Applicants will need to allow plenty of time for completing and reviewing the information they provide in their FCC Forms 470 and 471. Note specifically that information on the costs and types of products and services requested must be entered directly into the FCC Form 471. For FY2015, there is not an Item 21 Attachment that can be submitted separately from – or later than – the online form.
Remember also that you must wait AT LEAST 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you select your service provider, sign a contract (for contracted services), and sign and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after you post your FCC Form 470, you must wait at least 28 days after the RFP is publicly available.
Note also that FY2015 FCC Forms 470 and 471 must be submitted online. However, you can still certify these forms on paper.
Obtain the identification numbers you will need to file forms. The following numbers are necessary to complete the filing of online forms:
Billed Entity Number (BEN). The entity filing the form – that is, the Billed Entity, the entity that pays the bills – needs a BEN. If you do not already have a BEN, you can contact the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 1 (888) 203-8100 to obtain one.
FCC Registration Number (FCC RN).
Entities doing business with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – in this case, the Billed Entities – need FCC Registration Numbers. If you do not have one, you can obtain one by going to the FCC's CORES website
Consultant Registration Number (CRN). If you are using a consultant – a non-employee of the entity applying for funding that assists in filling out the application materials for a fee – you provide that consultant's CRN on the FCC Form 470 and/or 471. CRNs can be obtained from CSB.
Entity numbers. Each recipient of service – including non-instructional facilities – must have an entity number, which you enter in the Discount Calculation section of the FCC Form 471. Again, these numbers can be obtained from CSB.
Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN).
Each service provider you list on an FCC Form 471 funding request must have a SPIN. We strongly recommend that service providers obtain SPINs before applicants file FCC Forms 471, although USAC does provide a mechanism to complete an FCC Form 471 during the last days of the filing window if a service provider has not yet received a SPIN. Service providers obtain SPINs by filing FCC Form 498