Final Stretch to File 470s for FY 2016
February 22, 2016
By now, I hope you have filed your Form 470′s to competitively bid the services or equipment for which you will be seeking E-rate discounts in FY 2016 (unless, of course, you’re in a multi-year contract for which a 470 was posted in a previous year). Typically around this stage of the filing process I would send a list of which PA districts hadn’t yet filed 470s, but because so many districts aren’t seeking voice services this year due to the phase out, I’m afraid that such a list would cause more confusion than help.
Technically, the last day to file Form 470 is April 1, which would give you 1 day – April 29 – to open bids, obtain necessary board approvals, sign contracts, upload contract details into the EPC Contract Module, and create/submit the Form 471 in EPC.
In practice, it is nearly impossible for anyone to successfully file if they wait until April 1 to submit their 470, knowing the extra amount of work it will take to file this year in EPC.
If you need to submit a Form 470 this year, do it now.
Several Form 470 Updates/Clarifications/Reminders:
1) All 470′s must be filed in EPC. If your district is not yet logged-into EPC, please call USAC at 888-203-8100 and they can identify who is the EPC Account Administrator for your entity.
2) Include all of your services on a single 470. You may file all of your Category 1 and Category 2 requests on a single 470. Likewise, you may file separate 470′s.
3) Rebidding contracts and MTM services. Unless you are under a multi-year contract (that was originally competitively bid using a Form 470) that expires on or after June 30, 2017, YOU MUST POST A FORM 470 IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE SERVICE OR EQUIPMENT TO BE INCLUDED ON YOUR 471 FOR FY 2016.
4) Upload RFPs into 470: If issuing an RFP, it must be uploaded with your 470 in EPC at the time of filing. Also, any addenda that are added after the 470 is filed also must be uploaded into EPC.
5) List disqualification reasons in State/Local Procurement Rules or in the RFP. If you want to disqualify vendors, you must list those disqualification reasons in either your Narrative Section, the State/Local Procurement Rules Section, or in your RFP (if you have one).
6) No 470 Receipt Notification Letters mailed. All RNLs are simply an item in your EPC Newsfeed.
7) New Form 470 for multi-year contract not required. If you posted a Form 470 in a previous year, and then signed a multi-year contract that expires on or after June 30, 2017, you are not required to file a Form 470 for FY 2016 (however, you still must list the service on the Form 471). If you wish to exercise a voluntary extension of a contract without posting a 470, you may only do so if your contract contains the terms of the voluntary extensions (meaning the exact number of years or dates that the extensions can be exercised and it’s not just open-ended). Otherwise, you must post a Form 470 to extend the contract.
8) Form 470 – Voice Services: For voice services on the new 470, it asks for the # of users, instead of # of lines. To get passed the system, list the # of lines in this box, and then in the narrative box list the actual services required. For example, if you need 2 PRIs and 20 POTS lines, in the # of users box you would list 20, and then in the narrative box below, you would explain the services you actually need.
9) State and local procurement requirements? Yes! This is the space where you place instructions on bidders, such as the final date to submit bids (can’t be earlier than 28 days after posting the 470), where to submit bids, in what format, if references are required, if vendors must have SPIN numbers, etc. Use this space wisely!
10) Cellular voice if you have bundled voice/data services: For most applicants, cellular data is not eligible, but that doesn’t mean that many of you still want to apply for the voice portion of a cellular data/voice bundle. In these cases, choose Cellular Voice on the drop down menu (not Cellular Data), and then list the # of plans. In the narrative box below, list how many voice-only plans you want and how many bundled voice/data plans you want, recognizing that the data portion of the plans aren’t E-rate eligible.
11) Obtaining a final, submitted copy of your 470
After you’ve “certified” your 470, it’s often difficult to find a final copy. At the bottom of your Landing Page (home), scroll to the bottom where it says Form 470. Click on the 470 Nickname that you gave the form and it will show you a summarized version of the 470. To download an actual copy, click on Generated Documents on the left toolbar, and then Original Version.
12) USAC Video Tutorials: USAC has released a series of video tutorials on how to file the Form 470 and they are available here.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator