15 Most Frequently Asked Questions
Most Frequently Asked Questions (from last 2 weeks)
Form 471 Deadline is Next Wednesday – File now!
As of last night, 623 PA schools and libraries have submitted Form 471s (and 2286 individual funding requests) — which is almost exactly half of the PA schools and libraries that ultimately will file this year. PLEASE DON’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO FILE YOUR FORM 471 if your Form 470 28-day waiting period has passed and your vendors have been selected/contracts signed.
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions of the last few weeks. Please review them quickly, even if you are an E-rate veteran.
1) If I have a multi-year contract that was approved by E-rate last year, do I need to submit a funding request again this year?
– Yes. You must submit a funding request each year, for every service, even if your services are under a multi-year contract! (There’s no such thing as a multi-year E-rate commitment).
2) Can I submit my application online even if I don’t have a PIN?
– YES! Everyone should submit their 471 online. After you hit submit, the system will ask you if you want to paper certify or eCertify. If you don’t have a PIN, then you’ll just have to print a copy of the certification page and mail it to the SLD (postmarked by March 26).
3) Can I sign a multi-year contract longer than 3 years?
– Yes. E-rate rules do not limit an applicant on the length of a contract.
4) Can I sign the contract after I submit the Form 471?
– No. The contract must be signed before you submit the Form 471. Therefore if you need board approve prior to signing contracts, that board approval must come before you submit your Form 471.
5) I submitted my application but need to make a correction, is that possible?
– Yes. You can make changes using the blue Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) that should have come about 5 days after you hit submit. Mark-up the RAL and either fax to (973) 599-6511 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you made major mistakes to your submitted 471, simply complete a new 471 by March 26 and then cancel the original one when the RAL comes.
6) How can I obtain and E-rate entity number for a new school building?
– Call USAC’s Client Services Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100.
7) Where do I find my FCCRN Number?
– This is a unique number given to each Billed Entity by the FCC in 2004. For most entities, the FCCRN will pre-populate into your Form 471 when you file online. If it does not, you can research your FCCRN at: https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/coresWeb/simpleSearch.do;jsessionid=N1ZGn6wXJjjwSF4Gj
N1LdxrF0JT8s63g1vBpCvgSyQbM8s04jmQ2!616666834!-1277790077 using your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or School/Library Name (use first word, followed by %).
8) How do I find an NCES code?
– Although the Block 4 section of the Form 471 will give you a pop-up box telling you that the NCES code is missing, please know that the NCES code IS NOT A REQUIRED FIELD and you may leave this item blank. Further, there are NO NCES codes for Administrative Buildings. But if you would like to look up your NCES code, go to: http://nces..ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/.
9) What do I do if I submitted my 471 early but noticed that my enrollment/NSLP data doesn’t match the PDE data?
– If you submitted your Form 471 before the new PDE NSLP data was released and you now see that your Block 4 data is different than the newly released PDE data, don’t worry. If your figures don’t match the PDE data, but it doesn’t change the building’s E-rate discount, there is no reason to change the data.
If you have documentation to substantiate a higher discount than what the PDE NSLP data shows, then just be prepared to show that during PIA review. If you would like to change your figures to match the PDE data, you may do so during the RAL correction process or during PIA review. Submit RAL corrections to: fax (973) 599-6511 or e-mail email@example.com.
10) I have a bill that contains both telecom and Internet (data) services; do I have to put them on 2 separate FRNs?
– No. If you have a bill or contract that contains both telecom and Internet (data) services, you may combine those services on a single funding request under the Telecom Category for administrative convenience. However, you will need to break out those services on your Item 21 attachments to show exactly what services you’re receiving (such as 20 cellular voice lines and 10 cellular voice and data plans).
11) Am I required to submit a new Form 471 for each funding request?
– No! You can put all of your Priority 1 funding requests on a single Form 471 by just clicking on the “Add New Funding Request” at the bottom of Block 5. The only time you must file separate 471s if for Priority 1 and Priority 2. And if you’re applying for different discount levels in Priority 2, then file those on separate 471s as well.
12) I have a multi-year contract; what Form 470 Number to Use in my Block 5?
– If you have a multi-year contract for an eligible service, and that contract was signed in a previous funding year (after posting a 470 and waiting at least 28 days), you should list the original 470 number that was used to competitively bid that service. The contract award date will be the date your originally signed the contract.
13) I am voluntarily extending my contract per the terms of my original contract, what contract award date should I use on my Block 5?
– The contract award date would be the original contract award date. Only the contract expiration date would change.
14) Are the Item 21 attachments required to be submitted by Form 471 deadline (March 26) window this year?
– Yes, but we expect that applicants that forget to file the Item 21 attachments will be sent a letter by USAC and will be given an extra few days to submit their Item 21s.
15) I am submitting 2 Form 471s, but the system won’t let me certify the 2nd one. What should I do?
– Close your browser, then go back to the Apply Online page and click on “Certify Complete” to certify your 2nd application. The online forms don’t like it when you try to certify more than one application in a single browser setting.
Links to Additional Helpful Documents:
Form 471: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2014/03-10-14.html
New Item 24 Questions: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2014/03-03-14_3.html
Item 21 Attachments: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2014/03-13-14.html
Signing Contracts: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2014/03-01-14_2.html
Selecting Vendors/Bid Evaluation: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2014/02-24-14_2.html
Have other questions? Just e-mail me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f