April 29, 2016

TIP OF THE WEEK: To limit the items you see in your organization's news feed, access the News function from your organization's profile page. From the Records tab, choose "Applicant Entities," and use the Search function to locate your organization. Then choose "News" from the left-hand menu rather than clicking the News tab.

Submitting RAL Corrections in EPC

After you have submitted and certified an FCC Form 471 in-window, USAC will issue you a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) through the News feed in your organization's account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). This notification contains a summary of the next steps in the application process and provides a link to your FCC Form 471 and to your organization's EPC profile.

In previous funding years, USAC printed and mailed a paper RAL – one per form – to the contact person. Applicants could then use the paper letter to submit corrections to their forms that were the result of ministerial and clerical (M&C) errors.

Ministerial and clerical (M&C) errors are defined as data entry errors or mistakes applicants made on the FCC Form 470 or FCC Form 471. Such errors include only the kinds of errors that a typist might make when entering data from one list to another, such as mistyping a number, using the wrong name or phone number, failing to enter an item from the source list onto the application, or making an arithmetic error.

Starting with FY2016, modifications to your FCC Form 471 – also known as "RAL corrections" – are submitted in EPC. If you want to request a modification to your certified FCC Form 471, follow the process detailed below. You can submit modifications up until the time that USAC issues a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL).

Modifications do not show up in the certified version of the FCC Form 471, and some modifications must be reviewed and approved by Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) during the review of your application.

Access the form you want to modify

You can access your form from your landing page. Go to the My Forms section, choose Form Type "FCC Form 471," Funding Year "2016," and Status "Certified." Find the form you want to modify from the list of forms and click its nickname.

You can also do one of the following to access your form:

  • Go to the organization's profile and select "FCC Forms" from the left-hand menu, make the same choices indicated above, and then click the application number.
  • Go to the Records tab, choose "FCC Forms 471," then click "Yes," "Certified," and "2016" from the left-hand menu and click the form nickname/application number.

After you have selected your form, choose "Related Actions" from the left-hand menu, then choose "Submit Modification Request (RAL)."

Determine the modification(s) you want to request

From the Form 471 Modification Request screen, you have the following options:

  • Application
    • Application Details
    • Funding Request Details
  • Entity
    • BEN
    • Related Entities
  • Discard Request

Note that any modifications you make are specific to this FCC Form 471. For example, if you modify information for the billed entity or one of its related entities, the information would be modified for this form only and the request does not update that entity's profile in EPC. In fact, for some modifications, you must update your profile first. For example, if you want to create a new contract record or add a new entity, that contract record or entity must be created in your profile first in order for it to appear in your search results when you are entering a modification request. 

Note also that, for most modifications, you have the option to upload one or more documents. These documents can provide additional information to support or explain your request, or they can demonstrate how the ministerial or clerical error occurred in the first place.

As you move through the data-entry process, you will see a table listing all the modifications you have requested, one modification per row in the table. If you have more than one modification to make, you can make all of your modifications in one request. To do this, after you have completed data entry on the first modification, click the "Application" or "Entity" button again rather than submitting the request.

Following is a short list of the details available of each of the options listed above.

- Application > Application Details

If you click the "Application" button and then choose "Application Details" from the sub-category dropdown, a "Continue" button will appear. When you click this button, you have two choices:

  • "Cancel Application" allows you to cancel your FCC Form 471. If you choose this option, you will be prompted to respond before your application is canceled.
  • "Edit Application" allows you to modify the application nickname, the contact person, and the holiday contact information.

- Application > Funding Request Details

If you click the "Application" button and then choose "Funding Request Details" from the sub-category dropdown, you will be presented with a list of the funding request numbers (FRNs) on this form. At this point you have the following choices:

  • "Add FRN" allows you to create the key information for a new FRN.
If you check the box next to an FRN, you can do the following:
  • "View Line Items" allows you to view the line items for that FRN. If you check the box next to a line item, you can "Edit Line Item" or ""Manage Recipients of Service."
  • "Edit Funding Request" allows you to "Cancel FRN" or "Edit FRN Key Information."
  • "Edit Purchase Agreement" allows you to make certain changes to the information you originally entered regarding services provided under contract or on a tariffed or month-to-month basis. Note that if you chose contracted services and now want to associate a different contract record with your FRN, you must first create that new contract record in your profile so that it will appear in your search results.

- Entity > BEN

If you click the "Entity" button and then click "BEN," you must check the box to the left of the BEN to enable the buttons "Add Related Entity" or "Edit."

  • "Add Related Entity" pulls up a list of the entities associated with the BEN. You can add any of the entities on the list to your FCC Form 471. If you want to add a new entity (one that does not yet have an entity number), you must first ask the Client Service Bureau (CSB) to create the entity in your organization's profile. After the new entity has been created, it will then appear on this list.
  • "Edit" allows you to edit the same information that appears in the organization's profile. Remember that the profile itself is not updated by any modifications you make here.

- Entity > Related Entities

If you click the "Entity" button and then click "Related Entities," you are presented with the current list of entities associated with the BEN on this form. To modify information for an entity, check the box to the left of the entity's name.

  • Clicking "Remove" will remove the selected entity from the application.
  • Clicking "Edit" allows you to edit the same information that appears in the entity's profile. Remember that the profile itself is not updated by any modifications you make here.

- Other modifications

If the modification you want to request is not included in the options above, create a document that describes your modification request in detail. To upload your document to your request, click "Application," choose "Application Details" from the sub-category dropdown and click "Continue," then use the "Upload File" function in the Supporting Documentation section of the Application Details page to upload your document.

Discarding a request

At any point before your request is submitted, you can click "Discard Request" to discard your work and start over. Remember that you can also remove individual requests from the Requested Changes table by checking the box to the left of the request and clicking the "Remove" button.

Submitting a request

After you have completed data entry for all of the modifications you would like to submit in this request, review the Requested Changes table one last time to make sure all of your modifications are correct. You can always remove a requested modification by checking the box to the left of the modification and clicking the "Remove" button.

To submit your request, click the "Finish & Submit Request" button at the bottom of the screen.

You can review the list of requests you have submitted by clicking the Reports tab and choosing "My Submitted Modification Requests (RAL)." You can also click the word "View" in the Supporting Document(s) column to see the documents you have uploaded to that request.

Update on FY2016 FCC Form 473

Service providers that participate in the E-rate program must file an FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form, for each funding year they provide services and for which invoices are submitted to USAC.

In previous funding years, SPAC Forms were always filed on paper. For FY2016, SPAC Forms will be filed online in EPC. Please note that USAC cannot process SPAC Forms submitted on paper for FY2016. We will notify service providers when the FY2016 SPAC Form is available for filing.

Last Week in "File Along with Me":

  • Add a Category Two funding request. Read More
  • Category Two line item: product and service details. Read More
  • Category Two line item: cost calculation and recipients of service. Read More

"File Along with Me" is a blog that covers the E-rate Program application process step-by-step, and serves as a schedule you can follow to manage your application. Ready to join us? Read the Blog

Commitments for Funding Year 2015

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 48 on May 5. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of April 29, FY2015 commitments total over $3.23 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.


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