Applicants that meet one of the following criteria are exempt from submitting the FCC Form 461 and participating in the competitive bidding process. The applicant is:
- Seeking support for $10,000 or less of total undiscounted eligible expenses for a single year (note that applicants selecting this option cannot also request multi-year funding commitments);
- Purchasing services from a master service agreement (MSA) negotiated by a federal, state, Tribal, or local governmental entity on its behalf, and which was awarded pursuant to applicable competitive bidding requirements;
- Requesting support using contracts previously endorsed by USAC (MSA under the Pilot Program or the Healthcare Connect Fund Program);
- Has an active contract deemed evergreen for the RHC Program (for the life of the contract)
- Using a contract negotiated under the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program.
Applicants that do not meet any of the exemptions above are required to competitively bid for services and submit the FCC Form 461.
Applicants that are required to competitively bid for services should determine their service needs, prepare an RFP if applicable, and develop evaluation criteria that will be used to select the most cost-effective service provider before submitting the FCC Form 461.