December 4, 2015
TIP OF THE WEEK: When entering your email address to establish your login and password in EPC, type it carefully. If your entry includes upper-case letters or extraneous punctuation (such as a period following your email address), you won't receive the second email that allows you to create your password.
Commitments for Funding Years 2015 and 2014
Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 28 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on December 11. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of December 4, FY2015 commitments total over $2.68 billion.
Funding Year 2014. USAC will release FY2014 Wave 71 FCDLs on December 9. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of December 4, FY2014 commitments total over $2.27 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.
FY2015 FCC Form 486 Deadline Reminder
On December 2, USAC issued 1,740 FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters for FY2015 Funding Request Numbers (FRNs). These letters are sent to remind affected applicants that their FCC Forms 486 appear to be late, and that they have 20 days from the date of the letter to file and certify their forms.
An FCC Form 486 appears to be late for an FRN if no FCC Form 486 has been certified and it has been more than 120 days after the date of the FCDL or more than 120 days after the service start date reported on the FCC Form 471, whichever is later.
An FCC Form 486 filed online but not certified will still cause a letter to be issued. You must certify your form before the deadline to avoid a penalty (see below).
Going forward, USAC will issue these letters daily for FY2015 as new FRNs meet the above conditions.
USAC will also continue to issue these letters for FRNs from previous funding years that meet the above conditions.
If the date of your FCDL is on or before July 1, 2015, and your service start date is also on July 1, 2015, you must file an FCC Form 486 on or before December 22, 2015. Going forward, you should file your FCC Form 486 after you receive your FCDL and services start. We will continue to issue FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters as the online system calculates the later of the two dates above and an FRN appears to be late. Be sure to file your FCC Form 486 no later than the deadline featured in your FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter.
Remember that, if your FCC Form 486 is received or postmarked after the deadline, USAC will reset your service start date to the date 120 days before the date your form was received or postmarked, which may result in a reduction in your funding commitment. For more information, refer to FCC Form 486 Filing and the Deadlines tool on the USAC website.
For helpful tips on filing FCC Form 486, please refer to the FCC Form 486 video presentations in USAC's Online Learning Library.
Revised FCC Form 498 Available in EPC
Starting July 1, 2016, applicants who file the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) FCC Form 472 will be paid directly, that is, the payment will not first go through the service provider. To prepare for this new payment process, applicants who want to file BEAR Forms on or after that date must complete an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and Contact Information Form, to provide USAC with their banking account information so that USAC can electronically deposit funds in their accounts.
The applicant FCC Form 498 is now available in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). This form must be submitted and processed before USAC can make direct payments. Note that service providers will, for the time being, continue to certify and update their FCC Forms 498 through the E-File System.
In the November 20 SL News Brief, we provided a list of the information applicants must have ready to complete the FCC Form 498. You can refer to that SL News Brief for more information about the information required in each field discussed below. The guidance below is a simple screen-by-screen description of the data entry process for this form. We will be posting a complete user guide to the USAC website shortly.
Before you begin
Your EPC account administrator must set up one user as the School or Library Official (the "Company Officer" in the official FCC instructions for the FCC Form 498). The account administrator can set up a second user as the General Financial Contact, or the School or Library Official can indicate on the FCC Form 498 that he or she is filling both roles. These settings can be found in the area of the organization profile where the account administrator assigns permissions.
The School or Library Official can file and certify the FCC Form 498.
The General Financial Contact can complete the information on the form, but must send the form through EPC to the School or Library Official for certification.
Also, before you begin, make sure you have the other information described in the November 20 SL News Brief, specifically:
Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
FCC Registration Number (FCC RN)
Banking account information, including bank name, routing number, and account number.
When the School or Library Official or the General Financial Contact is ready to start, he or she can log in to EPC, click the organization name on the landing page, choose "Related Actions," and then "Create FCC Form 498."
The organization information populates on this page from the organization profile. The fields for Application Nickname and Federal EIN are required.
You do not need to provide an entry in the Name Company Is Doing Business As (DBA) or Formerly Know As (FKA) field or the Holding Company Name field unless you are a charter school or other entity where these fields would apply.
General Financial Contact
You must identify the General Financial Contact you designated in your organization's profile or indicate that the School or Library Official is filling this role. Because this person is already a user in EPC, his or her address and other contact information will populate from the profile.
On this screen, you enter the Federal EIN and the Dun and Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) Number. If the FCC Registration Number does not populate from the organization profile, you must return to the profile and enter it there.
Remittance Contact and Financial Information
The Remittance Contact is the person who is notified when the deposit of a BEAR payment is made. This person does not have to be set up as a user in EPC; you can simply enter his or her contact information in the fields provided.
The financial information consists of the following fields:
Remittance Financial Institution - the name of the bank where the account is held
ACH Financial Institution Transit Number - the 9-digit number that identifies the bank
Financial Institution Account Number for ACH - the number that identifies the account
On this screen you provide the Billed Entity Numbers (BENs) to be associated with this FCC Form 498. This list should include all of the entities that would be listed in the Basic Information section of an FCC Form 471. You do not have to include, for example, the entity numbers for individual schools in a school district or individual library outlets/branches in a library system.
You enter additional BENs by typing them one at a time in the "Add Additional BEN Number" and clicking "Add to List."
Principal Communication Type
This will be automatically populated with "School/Library or other Billed Entity Recipient."
The system will generate a PDF of the form.
If the Company Officer is filing the form, the Company Officer should review the PDF document to verify that the information is correct. If corrections need to be made, the Company Officer can use the "Back" button to return to the appropriate page(s) and make the necessary corrections. Once the form is correct, the Company Officer clicks the two certification checkboxes and then the green "Certify" button below.
If the General Financial Contact is filing the form, the General Financial Contact should review the PDF for accuracy. If everything is correct, he or she can click the green "Send for Certification" button to send the form to the Company Officer. The Company Officer will then receive a Task notification to certify the form.