Funding Year 2020 Filing Windows
This page provides Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program applicants with information about the Funding Year (FY) 2020 application filing windows.
Regular FY2020 Filing Window
January 15, 2020 – April 29, 2020
The FY2020 application filing window closed on April 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. April 1, 2020 was the last possible day to certify an FY2020 FCC Form 470 and still be able to certify an FCC Form 471 within the FY2020 filing window. The FCC Form 471 needed to be certified on or before April 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, the date that the filing window closed. Applications filed after this date are considered out-of-window.
Second FY2020 Filing Window
September 21, 2020 – October 16, 2020
On September 16, 2020, the FCC released an Order (DA 20-1091) directing USAC to open a second FCC Form 471 application filing window for FY2020. This window opened, Monday, September 21, 2020 at noon EDT and will close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
The second FY2020 filing window will enable schools to request additional bandwidth needed to meet the unanticipated and increased demand for on-campus connectivity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic without having to undergo a new competitive bidding process if they meet the following requirements:
- they already sought bids for the services by posting an FCC Form 470;
- they received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) from USAC approving a funding request for Category One internet access and/or data transmission services that relied on that FCC Form 470 or they have such a request pending with USAC; and
- they are requesting additional E-rate discounts on an FCC Form 471 during this second window to purchase additional bandwidth through their existing service provider or a new service provider.
Keep in mind that services requested during this second FY2020 application filing window are limited to additional on-campus Category One internet access and/or data transmission services needed to meet schools’ additional bandwidth needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Services requested for this second FY2020 application filing window are limited to additional on-campus Category One internet access and/or data transmission services needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as these service requests meet the competitive bidding exemption outlined below, applicants may request discounts on services provided as early as July 1, 2020.
Applicants do not need to post an FCC Form 470 to request this additional bandwidth on their FY2020 FCC Form 471 if they meet the conditions described above.
To the extent that the applicant’s state or locality has not waived their local competitive bidding rules, applicants may post an FCC Form 470 to comply with local laws. In this situation, the applicant is exempt from the E-rate Program requirement to wait 28 days before selecting a service provider.
Any applicant starting an FCC Form 470 between now and October 16 must now indicate whether they intend to file their form for FY2020 or FY2021. On the new screen FCC Form 470 – Select Funding Year that appears at the beginning of the filing process, there will be two drop-down options for the Funding Year field:
- Choose “FY2020” if you intend to cite to your form on FY2020 FCC Forms 471 you intend to file during the second application window.
- Choose “FY2021” to open a competitive bidding process for funding requests that you will file during the FY2021 filing window.
Service providers, contracts, and pricing
Applicants may file funding requests featuring new service providers in the event that their existing service providers are unable to provide sufficient bandwidth to meet the demand.
USAC can fund requests where the price per megabit is the same or less than that in the original contract. However, if the price per megabit is higher than that in the original contract, USAC will limit the funding commitment to the price per megabit in the original contract.
The temporary exemption in this order does not relieve service providers from the E-rate Program requirement for them to offer the lowest corresponding price for the services.
Applicants can rely on existing contracts if those contracts were signed pursuant to an earlier FCC Form 470. They do not need to create a new contract record for those contracts to cite on their new FCC Form 471.
However, if applicants have signed a new contract or an amendment to an existing contract, they should create a new contract record for the new contract or amended contract before starting their new FCC Form 471 so they can cite that contract record.
If you filed a new FCC Form 470 for FY2020, you can also cite that FCC Form 470 application number on your contract record without having to wait 28 days.
Filing the FCC Form 471
Applicants that wish to apply for this funding opportunity must include the following information in the narrative section of their new FCC Form 471 funding request(s):
- the original FY2020 FCC Form 471 application number(s) and the original Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) that relied on the original FCC Form 470;
- a statement confirming that the requested E-rate discounts are for additional bandwidth needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- additional information in the narrative section of the new FRN(s) about the price per megabit in the original and new funding requests that highlights any difference in pricing.
The information requested in item 3 above can also be provided in other per-unit terms, for example, an applicant seeking discounts for an additional 1 Gbps circuit could provide the per-circuit prices in the narrative.
Maintaining appropriate documentation
Applicants are required to retain records documenting the services that they receive pursuant to the temporary rules described above and consistent with the E-rate Program’s document retention rules. Applicants and service providers requesting E-rate support during the second FY2020 application window are responsible for maintaining records that demonstrate their compliance with the temporary rules.
Program participants and service providers remain otherwise subject to audits and investigations to determine compliance with universal service fund (USF) program rules and requirements.
The E-rate Program team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us with your questions or to set up a new user account.
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