January 13, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you requested an invoice extension for FY2015 recurring services, your invoice deadline was extended to February 27, 2017. Be sure to complete your invoicing activities by the extended deadline, because USAC cannot grant a second extension request.

Commitments for Funding Year 2016

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 30 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) next week. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of January 13, FY2016 commitments total over $1.86 billion.

On the date the FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

FY2015 Non-recurring Services Invoice Deadline Approaching

January 28, 2017 is the deadline for applicants and service providers to submit invoices for FY2015 non-recurring services. Because January 28 falls on a Saturday, applicants and service providers will have until Monday, January 30 to submit these invoices.

  • If you are ready to complete your invoicing process for FY2015 non-recurring services, we strongly encourage you to submit your invoices as soon as possible.
  • If you are not ready to complete your invoicing process for these services, you can request a one-time, 120-day extension of this invoicing deadline. You must request this extension on or before January 30 for each Funding Request Number (FRN).

We suggest that you request extensions using the Invoice Deadline Extension tool.

  • For an applicant to access the tool:
    • Log in to the online BEAR Form. (You can also go to the Forms page on the USAC website and click the File Online button under the FCC Form 472 section.)
    • Click the Deadline Extension tab at the top of the screen.
  • For a service provider to access the tool:
    • Log in to the E-File System.
    • Click the link marked "472 Online BEAR."
    • Choose your SPIN (some service providers have more than one) and click "Set."
    • Click the Deadline Extension tab at the top of the screen.

After you have clicked the Deadline Extension tab as either an applicant or a service provider:

  • Enter the first FRN for which you want to request a deadline extension. You can only request an extension for one FRN at a time.
  • The screen will display the details of the FRN – e.g., FCC Form 471 application number, FRN, Billed Entity Number (BEN), Service Provider, Commitment Status, Committed Amount, Amounts Disbursed on the FRN, and current Last Date to Invoice – so that you can verify that you have entered the correct FRN.
  • When you are ready to request the extension, click "Submit."

You will receive an automatic approval or denial message on your screen and USAC will also send you an email containing the same message. (Note that the email will come from the sender "no-reply" and the domain "," so the email may be blocked if you do not add this information to your safe senders list.) Additionally, if your request is approved, the FRN Extension Table will immediately be updated with the extended deadline. 

Applicants who are filing invoices should also verify that they have submitted an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form, and that USAC has approved the form. We cannot make electronic payments without the correct applicant banking information from this form.

For more information on FCC Form 498, you can refer to the October 14, 2016 SL News Brief. You can also call USAC at (888) 641-8722, option 5, for assistance.

New EPC Feature Added: Grid Format for Certain Records Lists

Under the Records tab in EPC, users can now view the lists of applicant entities, FCC Forms 470, and FCC Forms 471 in a grid format. This will allow users to access, sort, and search all records in these three categories.

Note that searching and sorting this information will take more time, due to the added functionality. You will see the "Working..." tab message at the top of your screen for a bit longer than usual before your search or sort request has been completed.

  • To sort by column values, click the column header. You will see an up arrow to the right of the column name for an ascending search (starting with "1" for numeric entries or "A" for alphabetical entries) or a down arrow for descending searches. Note that you can only sort one column at a time.
  • To limit your results, choose your search criteria from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. You can choose one criterion under each heading. For example, in the list of Applicant Entities, you can choose to limit your search by an Organization Type, an Entity Type, and/or a State.
  • You can sort first and then search, or search first and then sort.

Profile Updates in EPC

During the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review of FY2016 applications, some reviewers identified changes to applicant profile information that were required to successfully process the application. The reviewers updated those FCC Form(s) 471 but did not update the actual applicant profiles.

We are now preparing to update profile information to make the application process clearer and easier for FY2017. To do this, we would like to copy the information we have already updated in the form to the actual applicant profile.

We took a snapshot of the information in the applicant profile as of July 21, 2016 (the close of the second filing window). When we copy the information that we have changed, we will also overwrite any fields we did not change with the information that existed in the profile on that date.

Some applicants have made updates to their profile information after July 21. We know that they made changes, but we cannot view exactly which information they changed.

  • For applicants who made profile changes after July 21, we notified them by email earlier this week that we want to copy our data to their profiles. The Client Service Bureau (CSB) has a list of our changes. These applicants can call CSB at (888) 203-8100 if they do not want us to update their profiles.
  • For applicants who did not make profile changes, we will update their profile information and then notify them by email when we have finished.
  • We expect to do additional outreach to statewide consortia, as both their changes and our changes may be extensive. 
  • If you do not receive an email from USAC, we have not identified any profile changes for you.

We strongly suggest that all applicants refrain from making additional changes to their profiles until we have completed this process. Because we sometimes become aware of changes after a funding wave runs, we may still identify changes in the near future. Again, we will communicate with any affected applicants by email if we become aware of those changes.

We will also provide a notification when we have completed this process so that applicants can go into their profiles and make any necessary updates in preparation for the opening of the FY2017 application filing window.


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