October 13, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember to certify your FY2017 FCC Form 486 no later than 120 days after your services have started.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 21 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 20. As of October 13, FY2017 commitments total over $1.48 billion.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 66 FCDLs on October 17. As of October 13, FY2016 commitments total just under $2.91 billion.

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

FCC Releases FY2018 Eligible Services List

On October 5, 2017, in Public Notice DA 17-973, the FCC released the Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year (FY) 2018. Appendix A contains a list of commenters, and Appendix B contains the ESL itself.

EPC Update

USAC deployed some minor changes to EPC this past weekend. Please make a note of the following:

FCC Form 470

When an applicant creates a new Funding Request Number (FRN) and selects either "Leased Dark Fiber and Leased Lit Fiber" or "Self-Provisioned Networks and Services Provided Over Third Party Networks":

  • The applicant can enter information for both service types on a single screen.
  • There will be separate rows created for both services in the Service Request table.
  • If the applicant chooses to edit one of the service types, both service types will be presented for editing.
  • If the applicant attempts to remove one of the service types they will be prompted that both will be removed if they continue.
  • The FCC Form 470 PDF and the Records area will show both rows of services as in the Service Request table.

FCC Form 500

  • For an FCC Form 500 being filed for a funding year before FY2016, the caption "FCC Form 500 Number" has been corrected to "Funding Year." Applicants should indicate the funding year to which their FCC Form 500 applies.
  • Additional information on FCC Form 500 change types can be found by clicking the More Info link next to the type of change you are requesting and a More Info section will appear at the bottom of the General Information screen.

FCC Form 486

  • FRNs that were filed on an FCC Form 486 and later canceled can now be re-filed.
  • Service provider CSV .486 files now display "0.00" if the pre-discount cost field is empty.

Entity profiles

  • Entity hyperlinks in the applicant profile for a library system now link correctly to the individual entities.

FCC Form 486 Reminders

After applicants have received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment and services have started for the funding year, they must file an FCC Form 486. The FCC Form 486 must be filed no later than 120 days after the date services began or 120 days after the date of the FCDL, whichever is later.

For those of you who have not yet filed your FCC Form 486 for FY2017, we are providing the following reminders:

Filing an FCC Form 486

  • In general, applicants file FCC Form 486 in EPC. To start a form, you can click the link labeled FCC Form 486 at the top of your landing page in EPC.
  • For commitments from FY2015 and previous funding years, applicants file FCC Form 486 in the legacy system. Go to the Apply for E-rate page on the USAC website, scroll to the FCC Form 486 section, choose Start Your Form (FY2015 and Prior) from the dropdown menu, and click GO.

When you file your FCC Form 486 in EPC, you will see the following screens:

1. Create FCC Form 486

On the first screen, you are asked for three pieces of information:

  • Nickname – choose a nickname that will help you differentiate this form from other forms you may file.
  • Funding Year – choose 2017.
  • Main Contact Person – Designate the person best able to answer any questions about this form.

Click Continue after you have completed all of your entries.

2. Select FRNs

On this screen, you will see a list of all of the FRNs for which you can file an FCC Form 486. The list will only include funded FRNs filed by your billed entity from the funding year you specified on the previous screen.

  • Choose the FRN(s) you want to include on this FCC Form 486. First check the box to the left of each FRN. The caption on the button at the bottom of the list will change to Add (x) FRNs where (x) is the number of FRNs you have selected.
  • If you have a large number of FRNs, you can limit the list by specifying search criteria and performing a search.
  • You can add all of the FRNs on the list by clicking the Add All (x) FRNs button at the top of the list.

After you click one of the add FRNs buttons, you will see the FRNs you have selected in the Selected FRNs section at the bottom of the screen. At this point you can delete FRNs from the list you selected or add FRNs from the list above.

When you are satisfied with your list, click Continue.

3. Service Information

On this screen, you specify the service start date for the FRN(s) you selected.

  • Unless you specified a different service start date on your FCC Form 471, you will see July 1, 2017 as the service start date for your services for each FRN.
  • To change the service start date, check the box next to the FRN(s) you would like to change, enter the new service start date, and click the Update Selected FRNs Start Date button. All selected FRNs will change to the service start date you enter, so if you have multiple service start date changes, you will have to change the FRNs one at a time.
  • You cannot enter a service start date before July 1, 2017.
  • After you have provided accurate service start dates for the FRN(s) included on this form, click Continue.

4. Early Filing and CIPA Waiver

Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 early – that is, before services start – if certain conditions are met. However, early filing is not permitted after July 31 of a funding year. Because July 31, 2017 has passed, do not check this box if you are filing now.

The CIPA waiver on this page is very specific. Applicants should only check this box if they are unable to make the certifications required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) because their state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the making of the certification(s) otherwise required. If this statement does not apply to you and you cannot accurately make this certification, do not check this box.

When you are finished, click Continue.

5. Certifications and CIPA Certifications

Along with the other program certifications, you must complete the appropriate CIPA certification. We suggest that you review your work carefully – especially the CIPA certification – to make sure that all of your answers are accurate. For more information on the requirements of CIPA, you can refer to the CIPA page on the USAC website.

For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf. In this situation, the FCC Form 479 provides the information necessary for the Billed Entity to complete the appropriate CIPA certification(s) and successfully submit the FCC Form 486.

After you have checked the appropriate certifications, you can preview your form by clicking the Preview button.

6. Preview

From this screen you can preview your form.

  • If all of the information is correct and you are a full-rights user, you can certify the form by clicking the Certify button at the bottom of the screen. You can use the Back button to make corrections.
  • A partial-rights user must send the form to full-rights users for certification by clicking the Send for Certification button. This will create a task for all full-rights users, one of whom must accept the task and follow the steps in the bullet above.
  • You can also use the Print Preview function to print a copy of your form.
  • Once you click the Certify button, you can no longer edit the information on your form.

7. Certify

The full-rights user who certifies the form will get a confirmation on his or her screen that the form has been certified. USAC will also create the following notifications, which will appear in the Notifications section of the organization's landing page:

  • The FCC Form 486 Certification notification can be generated shortly after the form is certified to notify the organization that the form has been received by USAC.
  • The FCC Form 486 Notification Letter can be generated after USAC has reviewed and approved the FCC Form 486. The service provider(s) for the FRN(s) will also be able to access the associated electronic notification (.486 CSV file).
  • The day after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter, the FCC Form 486 Service Start Date field in the FRN Status Tool will be populated with the service start date reported for each FRN on the FCC Form 486.

We strongly encourage you to complete and certify your FCC Form 486 in a timely manner.

Invoicing Reminders

Applicants and service providers who have been successfully filing invoices – FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR Form) or FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice Form (SPI Form) – on a regular basis can continue to file invoices as appropriate to complete the invoicing process for FY2016 recurring services by the invoice deadline.

Applicants who are only now realizing that this deadline is approaching and are not prepared to meet it should review the following steps and take the appropriate actions. Those actions are detailed in the October 6 SL News Brief.

  • See if you need to file BEAR Forms.
  • If you do, get a PIN NOW.
  • Request an invoice deadline extension, even if you do not think you will need it.
  • Complete and certify an FCC Form 498.
  • Submit your banking information and then follow up with USAC.
  • Complete and certify your BEAR Forms.

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