USAC Announces FY 2016 Form 471 Filing Window Dates
January 25, 2016
The FY 2016 Form 471 filing window will open on Wednesday, February 3 at noon and will close on Friday, April 29 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Why is the window so much later this year? The new E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and new Form 471 have created certain challenges for which USAC is continuing to address. While I typically encourage everyone to file their Form 471s as early in the window as possible, I want to caution you that this year you may want to wait a few weeks until the bugs have been worked out. In fact, USAC is specifically asking early filers to provide them with detailed, robust feedback this year on their experience and where improvements can and must be made (therefore we’ll call this a soft window opening) by e-mailing EPCfeedback@usac.org. If you experience a system crash or other even that prevents you from filing, please e-mail ME right away at email@example.com.
USAC intends to add additional features and functionality while the window is open but their utmost goal is to ensure that the system is stable and all critical issues have been addressed.
Form 471 Training: I don’t believe I will have access to a Form 471 training site prior to the window opening. As soon as the window opens and I’ve had some time to become familiar with the system, I will schedule the Form 471 training webinars for PA applicants.
What to do NOW: The best thing you can do now is to file your Form 470 to competitively bid the equipment and services you need for FY 2016, and ensure that your school or library has successfully logged into EPC and updated your profile (see http://e-ratepa.org/?p=10901 for details). Please do not wait until March to file your 470 — file it now.
If you’re a little confused about the different E-rate steps and filing deadlines, please see the attached updated E-rate timeline for Funding Years 2015 and 2016. Also attached is USAC’s original News Alert announcing the FY 2016 Form 471 filing window dates.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator