March 27, 2015


Days to window close


FY2015 FCC Forms 471 filed to date


FY2014 FCC Forms 471 filed at this point last year



TIP OF THE WEEK: If you request discounts on data plans and/or air cards for mobile devices, you MUST be able to demonstrate to your PIA reviewer that those individual data plans are the most cost-effective option for delivering broadband connectivity to end user devices for your school or library. For more information, review the final article in the January 16 SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Years 2014 and 2013

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 47 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on April 1. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of March 27, FY2014 commitments total just over $2.18 billion. 

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release FY2013 Wave 85 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 31. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of March 27, FY2013 commitments total just over $2.15 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.

"470 But No 471" Email Notifications

Each year, USAC sends a notification to applicants that have timely posted an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website but not yet filed an FCC Form 471 funding request citing that FCC Form 470. USAC issues this notification shortly after the last day to post an FCC Form 470 but in time for applicants to complete all of the program activities necessary to file an FCC Form 471 by the close of the filing window.

Earlier today, USAC prepared an email to each FCC Form 470 contact person with a timely posted FCC Form 470 not cited in the Key Information section of any FCC Form 471 funding request as of March 26. For each unique email address, this email contained all FCC Form 470 application numbers and all associated Billed Entity Numbers that met this criterion.

Please note: This is not a notification to file an FCC Form 471 as soon as possible. Applicants must still wait at least 28 days after the posting of the FCC Form 470 – or the public availability of a Request for Proposal (RFP), if one was issued – before  choosing a service provider, signing a contract (if applicable), and signing and submitting the FCC Form 471 by 11:59 PM EDT on April 16, 2015.

Top Ten Tips for FY2015 Applicants Filing FCC Form 471

1. Obtain an FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) if you don't yet have one. FCC RNs are required for Billed Entities - the entities that file program forms. They are not required for recipients of service featured in the Discount Calculation section of the FCC Form 471 if they are not the entity that is paying the bills. If you do not have an FCC RN, you can obtain one from the Commission Registration System (CORES) section of the FCC website.

2. Review your entity name, number, address, and category in the Search for BEN Information tool and change any incorrect information. The Client Service Bureau (CSB) can process changes to entity number information. You can contact CSB by phone at 1-888-203-8100. However, if you have more than two entities to update, please gather the information requested in the Entity Numbers guidance document and either Submit a Question to provide the information (choose "Entity Number" from the Topic Inquiry menu and "Other" on the subsequent screen) or fax the information to 1 (888) 276-8736.

3. Request entity numbers for any new entities. You will need an entity number for the Billed Entity in featured in the Basic Information section of the form and for each recipient of service featured in the Discount Calculation section of the form. Contact CSB as above with requests for new entity numbers. Be sure to have ready the address and contact information specified in the Entity Numbers guidance document for each new entity.

4. Locate your NCES or FSCS codes. NCES codes identify individual schools by state, school district, and school; FSCS codes identify libraries by state, library system, and outlet/branch. You can search for your code starting with the Data Tools page of the NCES website, or you can contact your state department of education or state library agency for assistance.

If you cannot find your code when you are ready to complete your FCC Form 471, you will be allowed to bypass that entry. However, if this information is missing, you may also be asked for this information during the review of your application.

5. Locate the Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) for each of your service providers. Service providers file an FCC Form 498 to obtain a SPIN and provide or update their contact and banking information. You enter the SPIN for the service provider in the Key Information section of each funding request. If your service provider has multiple SPINs, check to make sure you are using the correct one.

You can search for SPINs using the Search for SPIN Information tool on the USAC website.

  • If you are not sure of the exact legal name of your service provider, entering the first few letters of the name followed by a percent sign (%) on the search page will return more results.
  • The tool has a "Doing Business As" column to help you identify the correct service provider if there has been a merger or acquisition.
  • You can use the contact information in the tool to contact the service provider if there are multiple results and you are not sure which SPIN to use.

An "interim SPIN" (143666666) will be available online to allow applicants to complete a funding request for any service provider that has not yet received a SPIN. Applicants can then provide the correct SPIN during application review.

6. Check the FCC Form 470 application number(s) you intend to cite on each funding request. The FCC Form 470 you cite must be the "establishing FCC Form 470," i.e., the form that formed the basis for the competitive bidding process that led to the selection of the service provider and services on that funding request.

If you have not yet certified your FCC Form 470, we suggest that you do so now. (See below for online and paper certification guidance.)

Also, if you believe you are exempt from filing an FCC Form 470 because you are requesting discounts on a commercially available, business-class, Internet access service, review the November 7, 2014 SL News Brief to be sure that this service meets ALL of the requirements for an exemption.

7a. FOR LIBRARIES - have the required student counts ready. The discount for a library is calculated by dividing the total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in the public school district in which the main branch of the library is located by the total number of students in that school district. Many states post this information on a website, or you can ask your public school district. If you are not sure which branch of the library should be considered the main branch or central outlet, review the February 6 SL News Brief

7b. FOR SCHOOLS - have your demographic information ready for the Discount Calculation section of the form. For each individual school you list in the Discount Calculation section of the form, you must indicate if one or more of the following apply:

  • Administrative entity or non-instructional facility (NIF)
  • Pre-kindergarten
  • Head Start
  • Adult education
  • Juvenile justice
  • Dormitory
  • Charter
  • Tribal
  • New school construction
  • Alternate discount mechanism [survey, sibling match, Community Eligibility Program (CEP), combination (not CEP)]

8. Review service eligibility information. The eligibility of many products and services has changed for FY2015. You should review the FY2015 Eligible Services List if you have not already done so.

Also, note that the online FCC Form 471 requests information that in the past could be submitted separately on an Item 21 attachment. If you need help completing this section of the online form, you can refer to the Funding Requests guidance in the FCC Form 471 Instructions and ask your service provider(s) for assistance.

9. Certify your forms. From the Apply Online page, you can certify your FCC Form 470 and/or your FCC Form 471 if you have not already done so.

  • To certify an FCC Form 470, click the "Certify Complete" button in the FCC Form 470 column and then enter your application number. Click "Electronic Certification" if you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and can certify your form online. Click "Paper Certification" if you do not have or cannot locate your PIN.
  • To certify an FCC Form 471, click the "FCC Form 471 - FY2015" button in the FCC Form 471 column and then enter your application number and security code. As above, click "Certify Online" if you have a PIN and "Display and Print Certification" if you do not have or cannot locate your PIN.

10. Contact the Client Service Bureau if you have questions. CSB agents are here to help you between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm EDT on business days. You can call CSB at 1 (888) 203-8100, Submit a Question online, or fax your question to 1 (888) 276-8736. 

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