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1/29/2015Special Edition News Brief - Reminders on Student Counts


The 01/29/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/29/2015Today’s Online FCC Form 471 Filing Tip


Each day, USAC will provide a tip on how to navigate through the online FCC Form 471 for FY2015. Check this Latest News post daily for a new tip and to access previous tips.

The tips will be labeled by the area of the form to which they apply: General Guidance, Basic Information, Discount Calculation, Funding Requests, Certifications & Signature, or Certifying Your Form.

Today’s Tip:

Discount Calculations – If you are using a school template to enter a school with no students (e.g., a vocational school that is not the home school of any of the students that attend classes there), do not enter a zero in the template; rather, leave the student count blank and then enter a zero in the online form after you import (upload) the template.

 

Previous Tips:

General Guidance

  • You can tell where you are in the form by the large chevrons (arrows) at the top of each page. There is one chevron per section: Basic Information (formerly Block 1), Discount Calculation (formerly Block 4), Funding Requests (formerly Block 5), and Certifications & Signature (formerly Block 6). The chevron that is blue indicates the section you are currently working on. Posted 01/23

Discount Calculations

  • To choose multiple attributes when entering an individual school or library, hold down the Control key (Ctrl), click on your selections, and then lift the Control key. Posted 01/26

Funding Requests

  • After you enter information for services and costs, click the blue “Manage Recipients” button to identify the entities that will receive those services. If you don’t see the blue button, click the plus sign (+) located to the far left of the information you entered. Posted 01/19
  • After you identify the recipients for a Category One service, if you see a number in the orange button to the right of the blue “Manage Recipients” button, you must click the "Manage Recipients" button and indicate the number of lines assigned to each entity. Posted 01/20
  • After you identify the recipients for a Category Two service, the orange button to the right of the blue “Manage Recipients” button will also display a dollar amount. Click the blue “Manage Recipients” button to allocate the cost of the service among the entities receiving the service. Posted 01/21
  • When you have correctly allocated the number of lines or the costs in a funding request line item to the entities receiving service, the orange button labeled “xxx Remaining” will turn green. Posted 01/22
  • Do not click the “Upload Completed Template” button if you have not already prepared a file for import (upload). Templates are optional. Instead, simply click “Add Line Item” and enter your data directly into the online form. Posted 01/27
  • Use the narrative field for the FRN not just for a description of your service(s) but also to provide information you think is important for USAC to understand, such as the specific location of shared equipment or the rationale for a cost allocation. Posted 01/28

1/28/2015Special Edition News Brief - Optional Templates for Online FCC Form 471


The 01/28/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/27/2015USAC's Washington, DC Office Opening Two Hours Late, Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office, including the RHC Help Desk, will open two hours late on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will open at its normal time.

1/23/2015News Brief Issued


The 01/23/2015 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/14/2015FCC Forms 470 and 471 Available on Training Site


FCC Forms 470 and 471 for FY2015 are now available on the Schools and Libraries Program Training Site. The training site can be used to practice filing and certifying some program forms online or to train others in the online filing process.

We suggest that you file using the following information in order to see all of the functionality available on these forms:

  • Start the form using Billed Entity Number 145909 (APPLICANT). This will allow you to file as any application type: individual school, school district, library, consortium, or statewide applicant.
  • For the FCC Registration Number, use 1234567890.
  • If you would like to test the Consultant Registration Number lookup functionality in the FCC Form 470, use 16062359. You may not be able to test it on the FCC Form 471.
  • When you reach the "Discount Calculation" section, you can use the "Search" function to choose any entities you want to include in your test application, based on the application type you selected in the "Basic Information" section.
  • When you reach the "Funding Request" section, you will be asked for a valid FCC Form 470 number and a SPIN for each FRN you file. Please use the following valid numbers:
    • FCC Form 470 Numbers: 104530001046284 and 813490001142573
    • SPIN: 143999999
  • To complete an online certification, please use:
    • AUTHORIZED PERSON NAME: Jane Smith
    • AUTHORIZED PERSON EMAIL: applicant@usac.org
    • PIN: ocular#

1/14/2015Special Edition News Brief - FY2015 Window Opens Today


The 01/14/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/14/2015FCC Form 471 Filing Window for Funding Year 2015 Opens at Noon EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2015


The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2015 will open at noon EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 26, 2015. The filing window will be open for 72 days.

Be sure to review the FY2015 Eligible Services List for details on products and services that are eligible for E-rate discounts in FY2015.

We will issue the customary Letter to the Field around the time that the FCC Form 471 application filing window opens to provide filing information and deadline reminders related to the window.

Meanwhile, keep the following in mind:
  • You can file an FCC Form 470 now if you are ready to do so; you don't need to wait for the window to open. To file an FCC Form 470 online, go to the Apply Online page and click on the "Create Form 470" button.
  • You must wait 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is POSTED to the USAC website before you can select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 is the last day to post an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.

You can find additional program guidance documents in the Reference Area of the USAC website.

1/13/2015Special Edition News Brief - Tips for the FY2015 Application Filing Window


The 01/13/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/11/2015USAC's Washington, DC Office Opening Two Hours Late, Monday, January 12, 2015


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office, including the RHC Help Desk, will open two hours late on Monday, January 12, 2015. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will open at its normal time.

1/8/2015Special Edition News Brief - Templates for Completing Discount Calculations


The 01/08/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/6/2015Reminder! Upcoming E-rate Program Webinars


Participants in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program are invited to join USAC for a series of webinars about the E-rate Program. If you aren't already signed up, register today! These webinars will include updates from the recently released Second E-rate Modernization Order, and we encourage you to join us for all of them. 

Register here: Category Two Budgets Webinar
Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Register here: Discount Calculations Webinar
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Register here: Urban/Rural Tool Webinar
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Please note: Due to the large size of our virtual audience, the presenters will not accept live questions during these webinars. However, participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance using the registration form.

Webinar Recordings
All webinars will be recorded and are available for viewing immediately following the original presentation in the Schools and Libraries Program's Online Learning Library. Recordings from recent E-rate Modernization Order webinars are already available:

  • E-rate Modernization Order Webinar (originally aired November 13)
  • FCC Form 470 Online Demo Webinar (originally aired December 9)
  • Eligible Services Webinar (originally aired December 16)
  • Program Compliance Webinar (originally aired December 18)
     

12/23/2014E-rate Program Funds Available for Carry Forward from Prior Funding Years


In this letter, USAC notifies the FCC of the E-rate Program funds available for carry-forward based upon FCC guidance concerning maintenance of cash reserves.

12/23/2014Urban/Rural Tools Now Available


Two new tools are now available on the Schools and Libraries Program's Search Tools web page: the Urban/Rural Lookup Tool and the Urban/Rural Status Reports by State Tool. These tools will help you:

  • Locate the urban/rural status for an individual school or library.
  • Find out if a school district or library system is eligible for an urban/rural discount by locating the urban/rural status of its member schools or libraries.
  • Identify schools and libraries whose addresses must be updated in order for USAC to determine their urban/rural status.

For more information, refer to the instructions for each tool. You can find the appropriate set of instructions to the right of the tool name on the Search Tools page.

Note: If you are having difficulty accessing the Urban/Rural Status Reports using a mobile device, switch to a non-mobile device such as a desktop.

12/22/2014Second E-rate Modernization Order Released


On December 19, the FCC issued the Second E-rate Modernization Report and Order (Order) and Order on Reconsideration. Building on the E-rate Modernization Order adopted by the FCC in July, the improvements to the program adopted in this Order seek to close the high-speed connectivity gap between rural schools and libraries and their urban and suburban counterparts, and provide sufficient and certain funding for high-speed connectivity to and within all eligible schools and libraries. The FCC takes these actions to ensure the continued success of the E-rate program as it transitions from supporting legacy services to focusing on meeting the high-speed broadband connectivity needs of schools and libraries consistent with the recently adopted program goals and long-term connectivity targets.

12/17/2014Apply Online Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, December 19


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 9:00-11:59 PM EST Friday, December 19, for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/11/2014FCC Continues E-rate Program Reboot to Meet the Needs of 21st Century Digital Learning


Today the FCC adopted an Order aimed at closing the connectivity gap by making more funding available for libraries and schools to purchase broadband connectivity capable of delivering gigabit service over the next five years. The Order also provides schools and libraries additional flexibility and options for purchasing broadband services to enable schools and libraries to meet their Internet capacity needs in the most cost-effective way possible. For more information, please see the FCC Press Release.

12/2/2014Join the E-rate Program for a Series of Webinars on FY2015 Topics


Join the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program throughout December and January for a series of webinars on Funding Year 2015 topics. Please register for each webinar individually:

Register here: FCC Form 470 Demo
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Eligible Services
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Program Compliance
Thursday, December 18, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Category Two Budgets
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Discount Calculations
Thursday, January 8, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Urban/Rural Tool
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Please note: Due to the large size of our virtual audience, the presenters will not accept live questions during the presentation. All webinars will be recorded and will available for viewing a day after the original webinar presentation, in the Schools and Libraries Program's Online Learning Library.

Need Help?
More information about the E-rate Modernization Order is available on the USAC website. If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact USAC Outreach.

For questions about the E-rate Program, contact us via Submit a Question or call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100.

11/20/2014Special Edition News Brief - Update on the FY2015 FCC Form 470


The 11/20/14 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

11/10/2014Webinar on November 13: E-rate Modernization Order


All participants in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program are invited to join USAC for a webinar this Thursday, November 13, about the major changes resulting from the E-rate Modernization Order. Register here: E-rate Modernization Order Webinar

USAC's E-rate Program staff is planning to conduct more outreach webinars that will discuss additional topics in-depth. These events will be announced via the SL News Brief and in the Latest News section of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program homepage.

10/28/2014FCC Releases FY2015 Eligible Services List report and Order


On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission released a Report and Order (DA 14-1556) releasing the Eligible Services List for Funding Year 2015.

7/23/2014FCC Adopts Landmark E-rate Modernization Order


The Federal Communications Commission adopted an E-rate Modernization Order that will expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries across America. The new rules are the next major step in a comprehensive modernization of the E-rate Program, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st Century broadband connectivity, ensuring E-rate Program money is spent smartly, and improving program administration. The reform will expand Wi-Fi to more than 10 million students in 2015 alone.

For more information, read the FCC's press release, or read the FCC's quick fact sheet.

6/16/2014Reminder: Early Filing for FCC Form 486


Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 before services start if they have received a funding commitment, if their services will start in the month of July, and if they can accurately make all the relevant certifications at the time they certify the FCC Form 486.

Note that applicants filing FCC Form 486 before July 1 MUST check the early filing box (Item 6a) in order to successfully file this form.

6/10/2014Registration Open for E-rate Program Applicant Trainings


This fall, join USAC for an all-day training focused on applicants who participate in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Register Today!