Step 1: Obtain a SPIN
A Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned to service providers by USAC when an FCC Form 498 is filed. This number is also known as the service provider’s 498 ID. You may want more than one SPIN/498 ID if you have business units separated by state, type of service, or for other reasons, but you need at least one SPIN/498 ID to participate in the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program. E-Rate program applicants who select the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) invoicing process also need to complete an FCC Form 498 and receive an applicant 498 ID.
Service Provider SPIN/498 IDs
To obtain a SPIN/498 ID, service providers must complete an FCC Form 498 (Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form) and submit it to USAC. This form collects contact, remittance, and payment information for service providers in all universal service programs administered by USAC.
After you complete the FCC Form 498, USAC will set up a user name and password for you to access the E-File system. E-File allows you to update your FCC Form 498 online, set up permissions for other users in your company, and view or approve certain applicant-filed forms and form attachments.
The FCC released a Public Notice on April 6, 2022 (DA-22-371) announcing that it will transition from using the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the SAM.gov assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).
Beginning November 16, 2022, USAC updated the FCC Form 498 for all service providers to require entities to have a UEI in order to submit a new, or modify an existing, FCC Form 498. Universal Service Fund (USF) service providers who submit a new FCC Form 498 or who want to revise their existing FCC Form 498 should complete their full entity registration in SAM.gov to obtain a UEI. Read our bulletin to learn about how to obtain a UEI.
Service provider contact information on the FCC Form 498 can be found in the SPIN Search tool, so it is also helpful to keep your information current in case an E-Rate applicant needs to contact you.
Applicant 498 IDs
E-Rate program applicants who select the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) invoicing process will complete an FCC Form 498 and receive an applicant 498 ID. They will complete their FCC Form 498 in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). This form collects their contact, remittance, and payment information so that when they submit an FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) they may be reimbursed directly by USAC after paying their service provider in full for the eligible equipment and services.
On April 6, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA-22-371) announcing that the General Services Administration’s SAM.gov will transition from the use of the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the SAM.gov assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). On May 12, 2023, USAC updated the FCC Form 498 for all E-Rate applicants (who use or will use the BEAR method of reimbursement) to require entities to have an active UEI if they submit a new FCC Form 498 or if they modify their existing FCC Form 498. Please refer to our April News Brief for more information.
FCC Forms 499-A/Q
If you provide telecommunications services and/or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, you must also complete the FCC Forms 499-A/Q (Annual and Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets) and receive a 499 Filer ID. The FCC Forms 499-A/Q Filer ID will be linked to your SPIN. Certain service providers are not required to file or complete all items on an FCC Forms 499-A/Q, either because the company has a de minimis status or meets one of the exceptions noted in the “Filing Requirements and General Instructions” section of the instructions on the Contributors Forms page.
Once you have a SPIN, and, if necessary, a 499 Filer ID, you will be ready to submit bid responses to applicants that have opened competitive bid processes under the E-Rate program.
Note that service providers that have not yet completed an FCC Form 498 or FCC Form 499 can still submit bids and be selected by applicants to provide services. However, USAC will not be able to complete the review of an applicant’s request for support and make a funding commitment without a completed FCC Form 498, and if necessary, a 499 Filer ID.