June 12, 2015
TIP OF THE WEEK: We anticipate opening the new E-rate IT portal in the next few weeks and posting a new FCC Form 470 in that portal in early July. If you are thinking about posting an FCC Form 470 for FY2016 requests in the next few weeks, please carefully consider the pros and cons of posting your request using the old FCC form 470 as compared to waiting until the new form becomes available. Below we provide information about each option.
Commitments for Funding Year 2015
Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 5 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 19. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 12, FY2015 commitments total over $301 million.
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.
Posting an FCC Form 470 Now For FY2016 Services
We at USAC have been working hard to stand up a new E-rate portal which will vastly improve your online E-rate experience. We expect to open that portal in the next few weeks, and to provide the new FCC Form 470 in that portal once it has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget.
We expect most applicants for FY2016 will use the new FCC Form 470 though the portal. However, every year a small percentage of applicants file their FCC Forms 470 before July.
Therefore, we are providing the following information about using the current FCC Form 470 to seek bids on eligible services for FY2016 for those applicants who decide that, because of long procurement cycles or for other reasons, they are not going to wait for the new FCC Form 470 before filing their requests for bids for FY2016.
You can use the current FCC Form 470 to post for bids for FY2016 services until the new form becomes available. Once the new form becomes available, we will take down the current form.
You can use the current form to seek bids on all Category One and Category Two eligible services.
You will not have to repost for services featured on your current FCC Form 470 after the new form becomes available.
Your 28-day clock will start with the date your form – current or new – is posted to the USAC website. It will not restart when the new form becomes available.
Note that some services – e.g., fiber construction – will only be eligible for funding if you follow the competitive bidding requirements the Commission adopted for these services. For such services, we strongly suggest that, if possible, you wait for the new form. The new form will guide you through the specific competitive bidding requirements that have changed for FY2016. If you decide to seek bids on any type of special construction using the current form, please call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 so that we can help you through the process.
Posting an FCC Form 470 online
If you decide to seek bids using the current FCC Form 470, go to the Apply Online page and click Create Form 470.
Choose "FY2015: July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016" from the dropdown menu in Item 2.
After you complete Block 1, receive your 15-digit application number and click "Next>>", check the box or boxes on the following page that include the service types under which you want to request services. The three check boxes cover the following:
Internet Access and/or Telecommunications – which also includes Voice Services (Category One)
Internal Connections and Managed Internal Broadband Services (Category Two)
Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (Category Two).
For each of the boxes you check, you will have the opportunity to include information about the services and quantities and/or capacities you seek, together with information on your Request for Proposal (RFP) if you issue one.
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, add the text: "This FCC Form 470 is intended for FY2016 requests."
Certifying your form
We strongly recommend that you certify your form immediately after you post it to the USAC website.
If you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN), you can certify your form online.
If you do not have a PIN, you can print a copy of your certification page, sign and date it, and make a copy for your records. You can send the original to USAC by U.S. Mail or delivery service, or fax it to (888) 276-8736.
Searching for FCC Forms 470 posted for FY2015
Service providers interested in bidding on FY2016 requests will be able to search for current FCC Forms 470 by using the Download 470 Information tool. To limit your search for forms intended for FY2016, we suggest that you choose one or more of the following:
- In the Date Posted Online area, enter or choose a "From" date after the last date to post an FCC Form 470 for FY2015 (March 19, 2015) or the date after the FY2015 filing window closed (April 16, 2015).
- In your search results, look for "2016" in the columns labeled "Restrictions?" and "Details" (in Excel, columns BQ and BR, respectively).
- Remember that you can also limit your searches by state(s), service type(s), and applicant type(s).
You can also search for and view an individual form using the View a 470 tool. Choose the FY2015 option, then provide your search criteria. In the search results, locate the form you want to view and click the magnifying glass icon to the left of the form.
The next version of the FCC Form 470
We will post the new FCC Form 470 after it is approved by the Office of Management and Budget. At that time, we will take down the current version of the form.
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.