Step 3: Applying for Discounts
To apply for Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program discounts, file an FCC Form 471 to provide USAC with information about the services or equipment you are requesting and the entities that will receive the services or equipment. USAC will review your request(s), may ask for additional information, and will then issue a funding decision for each request.
FCC Form 471
Applicants must file the FCC Form 471 in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) during the specific application filing window each year. In general, the application filing window opens about six months before the start of the upcoming funding year and is open for about two and a half months. The specific opening and closing dates of the filing window are published on this website before the filing window opens each year.
Information Required on the FCC Form 471
Before the filing window opens, applicants have an opportunity to update their profile information before it is locked for the duration of the application process. The system will populate the following information from your EPC profile into your form when you file it online:
- Entity numbers, also called Billed Entity Numbers (BENs), for all entities receiving service, together with specific information for each entity (“Basic Information,” “Discount Calculation” and “Funding Request” sections)
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and/or Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) codes for entities receiving service (“Discount Calculation” section)
- Student counts used for calculating discounts (the total number of students and the total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP))
- For libraries, the square footage of the library, the main branch of the library, and the entity number of the public school district in which the library is located
- An alternative discount mechanism, when applicable
For each funding request, you must also provide the following:
- Information on internet access connections and speeds (“Funding Request” section)
- A detailed description of services or equipment
- Specific information on each service, set of services, or equipment you are requesting:
- Service provider name and Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN), also known as the service provider’s 498 ID
- Cost of the service or the equipment
- Contract number and other contract details (if there is a contract)
- Start and end dates of service
- Worksheet(s) identifying the entity or set of entities receiving each service or the equipment
The FCC Form 471 must be certified on or before the close of the application filing window.
Once you have submitted your FCC Form 471, USAC’s Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) team can begin the review of your application.