Tribal Training

USAC created the Tribal Training initiative to help Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program applicants on Tribal lands participate effectively in the E-Rate program. Our goal is to reduce the digital divide and promote high-speed broadband connectivity to Tribal schools and libraries.

Members of the E-Rate program staff are available to help Tribal applicants navigate the program, assist with solving and preventing funding issues, answer questions, provide training materials and guidance, and more.

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Special Announcement

The FCC adopted a Report and Order (Tribal Library Order) at its January 27 open meeting that amends the FCC’s rules by updating the definition of a library, and clarifying that Tribal libraries are eligible for support through the E-Rate program. The new rules take effect in time for Tribal libraries to apply now for E-Rate support for Funding Year (FY) 2022 (which runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023).

The Tribal Library Order adds “Tribal library” to the definition of a “library” in the E-Rate rules, and amends the rules to recognize that Tribal libraries are eligible for support from state library administrative agencies under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018. In the Tribal Library Order, the FCC explains that Tribal Councils can designate a library as a Tribal library (for example, through a Tribal Resolution), and Tribal libraries should be able to demonstrate that they have three basic characteristics of a library:

  • Regularly scheduled hours,
  • Staff, and
  • Materials available for library users.

The FCC also directs USAC, together with FCC staff, to develop targeted outreach efforts to increase awareness of the program among Tribal libraries and adopt new metrics to gauge the participation of Tribal libraries in the E-Rate program.

WCB Extends FY2022 FCC Form 471 Filing Window for New Tribal Libraries

The FCC released an order (DA 22-231) waiving the E-Rate application filing window for new Tribal libraries. Applications with at least one new Tribal library listed as recipient of service will have until Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET to submit and certify the FCC Form 471 in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) without requiring an additional waiver.

Please note that Thursday, April 28, 2022 is the last date for these applicants to submit and certify an FCC Form 470 and still wait the required 28 days before submitting and certifying the FCC Form 471 by the May 26 filing deadline. We encourage applicants to file their FCC Form 470 as soon as possible and not to wait until April 28, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer. Any Tribal library that is eligible for LSTA funding under the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 and has not been validated in the E-Rate program should be prepared to demonstrate their eligibility by providing:

  • Documentation from an authorizing Tribal government entity (such as a charter or ordinance or letter from the Tribal Council), as well as documentation that shows that the applicant has the three characteristics of a library, including regular hours, staff, and materials available for library users, or
  • A signed letter from a state library administrative agency.

Answer. There’s no need to wait until March 16. Tribal libraries should create user accounts and profiles in the EPC now. Please call the Customer Service Center (CSC) at (888) 203-8100, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET for help to access EPC and set up your account. Tribal libraries should also start their competitive bidding process as soon as possible by completing and certifying the FCC From 470.

Answer. Click the links below to access the two Dear Tribal Leader letters related to the Tribal Library Order and the Filing Window Extension for new Tribal Libraries (listed by most recent):

Determine and Designate Your Entity’s Tribal Status

For data reporting purposes, an E-Rate applicant may self-identify as a Tribal entity in their EPC entity profile if the majority of students or library patrons served are Tribal members; the entity is located partially or entirely on Tribal land; the entity is a school operated by or receiving funding from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE); or the entity is a school or library operated by a Tribal Nation.

Watch an instructional video on how to designate your entity’s Tribal status.

Monthly Teleconference

The E-Rate program hosts a monthly teleconference for Tribal E-Rate program applicants to discuss special topics, share program updates, and ask any questions.

Monthly calls are generally held at 4 p.m. ET on the third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise noted below. Contact the USAC Tribal Liaison for the call-in information and agenda.

Upcoming Tribal Call

  • September 27 @ 4 p.m. ET: Office Hours – Register
    • If you have any questions about starting E-Rate services or the invoicing process, please send them to TribalLiaison@usac.org or bring them to the office hours.

Trainings

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events will be virtual.

Training Schedule

USAC routinely hosts free live online training events on E-Rate topics. Register for upcoming sessions below:

  • November 1 @ 4 p.m. ET: Office Hours – Register
  • December 6 @ 4 p.m. ET: Office Hours – Register

Recorded Trainings

For the recent series, links for recorded sessions are below. We encourage interested entities looking for an overview of eligible equipment and services to start with Session 2 before watching Session 1: E-Rate Information Session for Tribal Applicants. Please continue to check back for new training opportunities.

FY2022 Extended E-Rate Training Series for New Tribal Libraries (April/May 2022)

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Overview: This session provides an overview of the E-Rate program and covers general topics such as the application process, the competitive bidding requirements, important program terms, eligibility, and program discounts. We will provide an introductory overview of eligible equipment and services and walk through three training samples for FCC Forms 470 and 471. Additionally, we will focus on the recently adopted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that amended the definition of library in the FCC’s rules to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible for support through the E-Rate program.

In advance of the training, you may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

We recommend that you also review:

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Overview: This session provides an overview of the different roles and responsibilities for the consortium leader and members. After the presentation, we will conduct a live Q&A session.

In advance of the training, you may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

We recommend that you also review:

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Overview: This session provides an opportunity for Tribal E-Rate applicants and consultants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the FY2022 E-Rate competitive bidding and funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal training sessions.

In advance of the training, you may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Overview: This session provides an opportunity for Tribal E-Rate applicants and consultants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the FY2022 E-Rate funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal training sessions.

In advance of the training, you may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

FY2022 E-Rate Tribal Training Series (February/March 2022)

February 3, 2022

Overview: In this two hour session, we presented an overview of the E-Rate program and covered general topics such as the application process, the competitive bidding requirements, important program terms, eligibility, and program discounts. Additionally, we focused on the recently adopted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that amended the definition of library in the FCC’s rules to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible for support through the E-Rate program.

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the E-Rate program’s website:

You may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

February 8, 2022

Overview: In response to a popular request, we adjusted the agenda for this session to provide an introductory overview of eligible equipment and services and walked through three training samples for FCC Forms 470 and 471.

  • Recommended for: Tribal E-Rate Applicants
  • E-Rate Experience Level: All levels

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the E-Rate program’s website:

You may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

February 15, 2022

Overview: This session provides an opportunity for Tribal E-Rate applicants and consultants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the FY2022 E-Rate funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal training sessions.

You may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

March 8, 2022

Overview: Join us for the second webinar in the series designed to walk applicants through an FY2022 FCC Form 471. It will include a step-by-step demonstration of filing the form and a Q&A session.

  • Recommended for: Tribal E-Rate Applicants
  • E-Rate Experience Level: All levels

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the E-Rate program’s website:

You may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

March 15, 2022

Overview: This session provides an opportunity for Tribal applicants and consultants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the FY2022 E-Rate funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal training sessions.

You may email questions to TribalTraining@usac.org.

Tribal Training (November 9, 2021)

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

In this session, we will present an overview of the E-Rate program. This session will cover general topics, such as the application process, the competitive bidding requirements, important program terms, eligibility, and program discounts. Additionally, we will review specific items of interest to Tribal participants, including the Tribal designation box in the EPC entity profile, and State/Tribal matching funds.

E-Rate Training Series (November 16-18, 2021)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will provide a high-level overview of the application process from beginning to end and explain basic program concepts for applicants and service providers. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-Rate experience level: Beginner

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will discuss the E-Rate Pre-Commitment Process (getting started, competitive bidding, applying for discounts, and Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review). After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-Rate experience level: Beginner

*Due to technical issues, the Pre-Commitment Process webinar was reproduced.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will provide a basic overview of E-Rate eligible services. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-Rate experience level: Beginner

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will discuss Category Two (C2) budgets. We will provide an overview of C2 budgets and C2 budget guidance for FY2022. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-Rate experience level: All

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will discuss the EPC administrative window – the period during which applicants can make updates to their profile information in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) to prepare for the upcoming FCC Form 471 application filing window. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants
E-Rate experience level: All

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Overview

During this webinar, we will discuss the E-Rate Post-Commitment Process and other post-commitment activities, including starting services, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), service substitutions, appeals, and more. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers
E-Rate experience level: All

Tribal Training (December 14, 2021)

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

This session provides an opportunity for Tribal applicants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the Funding Year (FY) 2022 E-Rate funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal and E-Rate training sessions.

In advance of this session, you may email questions to tribaltraining@usac.org.

Below is a list of selected sessions from two recorded training series for Tribal Applicants held in 2020 and early 2021. Check the Webinars page for more recorded trainings.

Virtual Information Series for Tribal Applicants (July/August 2020)

August 5, 2020

Guest Moderator: Kara Bobroff, A Professional in Native Education

Overview
During this session, Tribal schools had the opportunity to discuss key E-Rate topics, issues, challenges, and practical solutions. USAC provided a brief overview of the competitive bidding rules.

 

August 6, 2020

Guest Moderator: Cindy Hohl, President, American Indian Library Association

Overview
During this session, Tribal libraries had the opportunity to discuss key topics, issues, challenges, and practical solutions with USAC and other program participants. USAC provided a brief overview of the competitive bidding rules.

 

FCC Form 470 and 471 Walkthrough Series for Tribal Applicants (February/March 2021)

February 9, 2021

Overview

Join us for the first webinar in the series designed to walk applicants through the steps for filing an FY2021 FCC Form 470. The webinar will include a step-by-step demonstration of filing the form and will be followed by a Q&A session.

  • Recommended for: Tribal E-Rate Applicants
  • E-Rate Experience Level: All levels

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the E-Rate program’s website:

March 9, 2021

Overview

Join us for the second webinar in the series designed to walk applicants through an FY2021 FCC Form 471. It will include a step-by-step demonstration of filing the form and a Q&A session.

  • Recommended for: Tribal E-Rate Applicants
  • E-Rate Experience Level: All levels

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the E-rate program’s website:

Resources

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments, please contact USAC Tribal Liaison.