Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

FY2019 Application Filing Window Closes at 11:59 PM EDT March 27
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3/22/2019News Brief Issued


The 3/22/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/20/2019Responding to FRN Balance Verifications


Each year, USAC undergoes an audit – called an agreed-upon-procedures (AUP) engagement – to examine its operations. As part of this process, the firm performing the audit emails a number of balance verifications ("confirmations") to applicants and service providers to verify that the balances reported by USAC on specific Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) match the balances in the records of the applicants and service providers. Each confirmation features the balance reported by USAC on a specific FRN as of October 31, 2018. 

 

The confirmations are being sent from confirmations@pwc.com. Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive a confirmation.

 

Applicants and service providers should review their records and respond by either:

  • Agreeing with the balance featured on the confirmation or
  • If it is different, noting the balance as of October 31, 2018 on their records and explaining how they determined that balance.

3/20/2019CSB Hours During the Last Week of the Filing Window


While we encourage applicants to complete and certify their FCC Form 471 early, we realize that last-minute questions can arise. We are publishing the extra hours the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open during the last week of the window to allow applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to get answers to those last-minute questions.

 

You can contact CSB at (888) 203-8100. CSB's regular hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to those times, CSB will be open:

Date CSB Open CSB Close
Saturday, March 23 9:00 AM EDT   5:00 PM EDT
Sunday, March 24 9:00 AM EDT   5:00 PM EDT
Monday, March 25 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Tuesday, March 26 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 27 8:00 AM EDT 12:30 AM EDT (Thursday, March 28)

 

Generally, CSB has the highest call volumes during noon to 4:00 p.m. EDT. If an agent is not able to answer when you call, please open a customer service case in EPC and we will respond as quickly as possible. To open a customer service case in EPC, click the Contact Us link from the upper right menu on your landing page.

3/15/2019News Brief Issued


The 3/15/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/11/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 12


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be unavailable Tuesday morning, March 12 from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. EDT for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/8/2019News Brief Issued


The 3/8/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/7/2019C2 Budget Tool Outage Due to System Maintenance - March 7


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program Category Two (C2) Budget Tool will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 7 for system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/6/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 10-11


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m EST through Monday, March 11 at 1:00 a.m. EDT* for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

*Daylight saving time goes into effect during this period.

3/1/2019News Brief Issued


The 3/1/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/28/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 1


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from 12:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m. ET on Friday, March 1 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/27/2019Online Service Provider Training Series Now Available


Today, we launched fifteen new training modules as part of our online E-rate training series. The series provides an online, self-paced learning option for those program participants who were unable to attend our fall training events or who want a refresher. 

The online training series for service providers is now available in our Online Learning Library. We encourage you to view the offerings in this series and let us know what you think by using the evaluation at the end of each training module.

2/22/2019Need a PIN? Please request it by COB Monday, February 25


Applicants who need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to file an invoice are strongly encouraged to request their PIN before 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 25. To file a request, complete a PIN request template and attach it to a customer service case in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). You can also find the template on the PIN guidance page.

 

If you have any questions, you can call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100. CSB is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. We will do our best to process any requests received after that time.

 

Remember that, if you have received an invoice deadline extension request, the deadline to file invoices for FY2017 recurring services is 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 26.

2/22/2019News Brief Issued


The 2/22/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/15/2019News Brief Issued


The 2/15/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/14/2019Register Today: Feb. 19 Data Office Hour Webinar


Registration is now open for the upcoming E-rate office hour webinar on February 19, 2019.

 

Date and Time Topic Level

Prerequisite Module

Tuesday, February 19 at 3:00 p.m. EST Data All levels Data (11:43 min.)

 

Check the Webinars page for our current schedule. More events will be added soon.

2/13/2019Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - February 13


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 13 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

2/8/2019News Brief Issued


The 2/8/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/6/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: February 10-11


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, February 11 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/5/2019Rescheduled: Advanced Eligible Services Webinar


Our upcoming E-rate Office Hour Webinar on Advanced Eligible Services is rescheduled for February 14, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Webinars page will be edited soon to reflect the updated webinar schedule.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Please note that today's beginner level webinar will take place as scheduled.

 

February 5, 2019

Date and Time Topic Level Module
Tuesday, February 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET Eligible Services for Beginners Beginner Eligible Services

 

February 14, 2019 (NEW DATE)

Date and Time Topic Level Module
Tuesday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET Advanced Eligible Services Advanced

Advanced Eligible Services

2/1/2019News Brief Issued


The 2/1/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/1/2019E-rate Office Hours - Register Today


Registration is now open for upcoming E-rate office hour webinars. Check the Webinars page for our current schedule. More events will be added soon.

Here is how the process will work:

  • During the FY2019 application filing window, USAC will conduct a series of office hour webinars which will focus on specific E-rate topics covered in our online E-rate Program Training Series.
     
  • Each webinar will include the topic, the date and time, the recommended audience, the E-rate experience level (beginner, advanced, general) and the specific training module(s) that attendees should review in advance of the webinar. Note that we may hold more than one webinar on the same day.
  • If you are interested in attending, register for the webinar and watch the training module(s).
  • When the webinar starts, we will provide instructions on how to ask questions, go over a short summary of the module(s) you should have reviewed, and then open the floor for questions.
  • Attendees will use the webinar's chat function to ask questions. We will identify questions of general interest that come in through the chat function and read and respond to them verbally, and also answer more specific questions individually using the chat function. As with our regular webinars, we will give preference to questions about the topic under discussion.

 

February 5, 2019

Date and Time Topic Level Module
Tuesday, February 5 at 2:00 p.m. EST Eligible Services for Beginners Beginner  Eligible Services
Tuesday, February 5 at 3:00 p.m. EST Advanced Eligible Services  Advanced

 Advanced Eligible Services

 

February 6, 2019

Date and Time Topic Level Module
Wednesday, February 6 at 2:00 p.m. EST Starting Funding Year (FY) 2019 Beginner  Starting FY2019
Wednesday, February 6 at 3:00 p.m. EST Competitive Bidding for Beginners  Beginner  Competitive Bidding

1/28/2019E-rate Office Hours


During the FY2019 application filing window, USAC will conduct a series of office hour webinars which will focus on specific E-rate topics covered in our online E-rate Program Training Series.

 

Here is how the process will work:

  • We will post a list of the office hour webinars on the Webinars page on the USAC website soon. Each webinar will include the topic, the date and time, the recommended audience, the E-rate experience level (beginner, advanced, general) and the specific training module(s) that attendees should review in advance of the webinar. Note that we may hold more than one webinar on the same day.
  • If you are interested in attending, register for the webinar and watch the training module(s).
  • When the webinar starts, we will provide instructions on how to ask questions, go over a short summary of the module(s) you should have reviewed, and then open the floor for questions.
  • Attendees will use the webinar's chat function to ask questions. We will identify questions of general interest that come in through the chat function and read and respond to them verbally, and also answer more specific questions individually using the chat function. As with our regular webinars, we will give preference to questions about the topic under discussion.

     

Because the first office hour webinars will be held this week, we are providing the details below. Remember to register using the appropriate link on the Webinars page once the full schedule is posted.

 

Date and Time Topic Level Module
Thursday, January 31 at 2:00 p.m. EST Basic Program Concepts Beginner Basic Concepts
Thursday, January 31 at 3:00 p.m. EST Advanced Competitive Bidding Advanced Competitive Bidding

1/25/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/25/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/22/2019Extensions for Participants Affected by California Wildfires


On January 3, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an order (DA 19-15) that waives specific E-rate Program deadlines that occurred on or after October 8, 2017 for schools and libraries located in the areas affected by the Northern California wildfires that occurred in October 2017. The fires caused power outages and damage to communications services, affecting the participation of schools and libraries in the E-rate Program.

 

Program participants in the affected area have until April 3, 2019 to submit the following filings to USAC:

  • Requests for review or waiver of decisions by USAC, directed to USAC or the FCC.
  • FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children’s Internet Protection Act Certification (CIPA) Form).
  • FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form) and FCC Form 474 (Service Provider Invoice Form). *By waiving the invoicing deadline, the FCC also extended the deadline to submit a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) change request.

 

Next Steps for Affected Entities

To take advantage of the deadline extensions referenced in the Order you must notify USAC that an extension is needed.

 

The first step is to open a customer service case in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

 

At the beginning of the case nickname, enter the code "DA 19-15" to assist us in locating and responding to your questions or request.

 

The following information should be included in your customer service case: Funding Request Number(s) (FRNs), Billed Entity Number (BEN), Billed Entity name, the type of request you are seeking (i.e., invoice deadline extension) and a description of the request.

 

USAC will process these customer service cases to ensure the relevant filing deadline is extended.

 

If you have questions about the waiver or next steps you can submit a customer service case or contact the Client Services Bureau (CSB) at 1-888-203-8100.

1/18/2019News Brief Issued - Corrected


The 1/18/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. NOTE: The FCC form numbers have been corrected to reflect the accurate form count in the Funding Year (FY) 2019 Window Countdown section.

 

Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/15/2019Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - January 15


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 15 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

1/11/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/11/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/11/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: January 14-15


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Monday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m ET through Tuesday, January 15 at 1:00 a.m. ET for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/9/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: January 13-14


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, January 14 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/7/2019USAC Is Open for Business As Usual; All Deadlines Remain in Effect


During the government shutdown, USAC will remain open for business as usual and all universal service deadlines remain in effect. Disbursements will continue to be issued by USAC. USAC events such as conference calls and webinars will take place as scheduled.

1/4/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/4/2019 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/22/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/22/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/21/2018Special Edition News Brief - FY2019 Application Filing Window Opens January 16, 2019


A Special Edition issue of the News Brief (12/21/2018) is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/21/2018Online Applicant Training Series Now Available


Today, we launched the first of a new online training series which provides an online, self-paced learning option for those program participants who were unable to attend our fall training events or who want a refresher. 

The online applicant training series is now available in our Online Learning Library. A service provider training series will be available in 2019. We encourage you to view the offerings in this series and let us know what you think by using the evaluation at the end of each training module.

12/20/2018E-rate Client Service Bureau Closed: December 24-25


In observance of the Christmas holiday, the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program’s Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Monday, December 24, 2018 and Tuesday, December 25, 2018. CSB will reopen Wednesday, December 26, 2018 for the regular hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

12/20/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - December 20


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-11:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 20 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

12/17/2018Preparing for FY2019 - Webinar Recording Now Available


If you missed the Preparing for Funding Year (FY) 2019 webinar on December 12, 2018, you can use this link to register and watch a recording. This webinar was designed to help applicants and service providers prepare for the Funding Year 2019 application filing window. 

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-rate Experience Level: All levels

12/14/2018Focus on Participant Experience


USAC is continuing its ongoing efforts to better serve E-rate participants by adding extra applicant and service provider support and implementing enhancements to improve the experience for the E-rate community. As the end of the calendar year approaches, while we are committed to addressing as many open participant issues as possible before 2019, we appreciate the E-rate community’s patience and cooperation as we work open cases.

 

Some of these open cases may require a change in reviewers once USAC transitions to its new vendor for E-rate business process operations later this month. All review activities, including program integrity assurance (PIA), appeals, funding commitment waves and payments, will continue during the transition.

 

USAC will reach out to E-rate participants that have active applications, invoices or post-commitment requests, to share additional information about any changes related to the transition to the new vendor. We will continue to share information with affected participants by email, especially if the transition to the new vendor will impact those participants’ open E-rate activities. For example, beginning in January, all open forms and requests (including invoices, appeals and post-commitment requests) will be assigned to new reviewers.

 

USAC is aware that some E-rate participants have open, inactive forms and requests pending with the program. These items will also transition to the new team and participants will receive outreach at a later time.

 

We appreciate the support and cooperation of the E-rate community as we work with our new vendor on these adjustments.

12/14/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/14/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/13/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - December 13


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

12/12/2018Focus on Participant Experience


In 2018, USAC improved the E-rate Program's operational efficiency by refining EPC to process applications more quickly and adjust to large volumes. As we look toward 2019, we will build on those advances with a steady focus on strengthening the E-rate participant experience.

 

We will serve participants better by adding extra applicant and service provider support, transitioning our E-rate business process operations and implementing enhancements to create a better experience for the E-rate community. USAC has expanded our participant support teams to ensure a smooth and orderly transition process with minimal impacts on the E-rate community.

 

E-rate participants with open applications, invoices or post-commitment requests will receive additional information to help guide them through the transition. USAC is working hard to address as many open participant issues as we can before the end of the year, and we appreciate the E-rate community's patience as we analyze and work open cases.

 

Most participants will not notice any changes in their E-rate experience during the transition and will see customer service improvements when it is complete.

12/12/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: December 16-17


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, December 17 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/7/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/7/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

11/30/2018News Brief Issued


The 11/30/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

11/29/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - November 29


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 29 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

11/28/20182018 E-rate Service Provider Training - December 3-5


USAC’s annual service provider trainings will take place at USAC’s office located at 700 12th Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005 on December 3-5, 2018. For those of you joining us at USAC next week, here are a few tips and reminders to help you prepare for the training.

December 3 and December 5 are identical full-day trainings designed for participants of all proficiency levels; attendees should be registered for only one of these two trainings. December 4 is a half-day afternoon training specifically for beginner participants who want the very basics of the program. Attendees must attend the session(s) for which they are confirmed as registered. To reiterate, training dates and times are:

  • Monday, December 3: 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (general session for all proficiency levels)
  • Tuesday, December 4: 12:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. (beginner session covering program basics)
  • Wednesday, December 5: 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (repeat of general session for all proficiency levels)

Registration: Registration opens 30 minutes before the day’s training as noted above. Please bring a photo ID. The name on USAC’s registration records must match the name of the person who attends the training. We are at full capacity and will not be able to accommodate walk-in registrations.

Check-in Process:

  1. Enter the 12th Street lobby at 700 12th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.
  2. Go to USAC’s registration desk in the lobby to check in and receive your name badge and training agenda. 
  3. Then, go to the security desk in the lobby to receive your security pass.
  4. A USAC representative by the elevators will guide you to the training event.

NOTE: If you are attending two days of training, you will need to check in with USAC and receive a security pass at the beginning of each day.

Download the Training Materials: Training materials are available on our website. We will be going paperless this year, and will not have printouts. Please plan accordingly.

Food: Attendees should make their own arrangements for meals. USAC will provide recommendations for nearby breakfast and lunch options within short walking distance, of which there are many.

We look forward to seeing you next week. For more information on our fall training events, please reference our 2018 Applicant & Service Provider Trainings page.

 

11/26/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* Outage Due to System Maintenance: November 26


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* will be unavailable on Monday, November 26 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.