Form 471 Status Check/Next Steps
March 22, 2016
~ Register for March 31 Training ~
I know many of you have concluded your Form 470 28-day bidding period and conducted your bid evaluations which means you’re turning to the Form 471. Below are reminders of the next steps to the FY 2016 E-rate application process that must be completed in your EPC Portal before you complete the Form 471. The data you submit in EPC will then be automatically ported over into the Form 471. Here are the steps you should complete (in order, if you can):
(Form 470: If you still have questions related to bid evaluations, or need a sample bid evaluation matrix, please see guidance at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=12061.)
1) Ensure all of your schools and NIFs (admin buildings) are in EPC. On your EPC Landing Page, review your entity list and if there are any buildings missing, call USAC at 888-203-8100 and have them added while you’re on the phone. Note, no NIFs were populated into EPC so they all have to be added by request.
2) Update the enrollment and NSLP data for each school (and ensure the building’s address is accurate). Click on the School’s name for which you want to modify (tab through to see other schools as they only show 5 to a page). This screen will show the school’s data currently in the system. To modify this data, click on Modify Organization at the top right side of the page then modify the relevant data. Note: The data currently in the fields is what you listed on your FY 2015 Form 471, Block 4 and you may use this data or update with more recent data. The system will require you to fill in 0 for the part time fields if you only have full time students. It also will require you to select NONE if you didn’t use an Alternative Discount Mechanism. To return to the list of schools, click on the USAC Logo on the top left side of the page to return to your Landing Page. Start the process over for the next school. Screenshots and further details on this step are available at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=11411.
3) Complete the Connectivity Survey. All applicants except consortia must complete the Connectivity Survey in EPC prior to submitting their 471. To get to the Connectivity Survey from your Landing Page, click on your Entity’s Name which is the first entity on the Organization List, then click on Related Actions. The next page will show the lightning bolts and you will find the Manage Connectivity Questions near the bottom of the list. After you enter the district-level questions related to aggregate Internet, you must then enter school-building level questions related to bandwidth and WIFI. There is no way to answer them on a single page, unfortunately. You must enter each school’s data one school at a time. For screenshots and helpful hints, refer to: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=11491.
4) Enter Contract Data (for all contracts that you will cite on the 471). Unlike previous years where applicants entered contract and SPIN-related information in each Form 471 funding request, under the EPC building-block approach, this information is all now captured in your EPC Portal’s new Contract Module. When you create a Form 471 Funding Request, the information for the referenced contract is then ported over from EPC. You will NOT enter information in the Contract Module for month-to-month services (in your Form 471 funding requests, you will choose MTM instead of contract and the system will then ask you questions related to your MTM service arrangement). Although the system asks if you want to upload a copy of your signed contract into EPC, you are not required to do so. Also, there is no way to edit or delete submitted contract information so if you realize you made an error, you’ll just have to start over and create a new contract (the old contract will just die on the vine; (for now) it can’t be removed). Be sure to give your contract a really descriptive nickname so you can easily identify it in the Form 471 when you do your contract search (such as [year contract signed] – Lit Fiber WAN – Vendor Name Contract)! The number of data elements for each contract has increased from previous years, so it’s best to be prepared with the information in-hand when you complete the Contract Module. The most notable additions are a requirement to list the # of bids received, and information related to number of contract extensions. For screenshots and helpful hints, refer to: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=11531
If you’re completing the Contracts Module for a PEPPM-related contract, all of the data entered should be based on your local vendor C2 contract except the Form 470 # which is 245730001240230. For screenshots and PEPPM-related data, refer to: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=11591.
Form 471 – Finally!
After you’ve completed these 4 steps, it’s time to turn to the Form 471 and create your funding requests. For a list of helpful hints in filing the Form 471, please refer to: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=11941. If you’d like training on the Form 471, or any of the steps noted above, please plan to attend the E-rate training webinar being held on Thursday, March 31 beginning at 1:00:
1:00 – 1:30 will be devoted to completing the required modules in EPC (entering Enrollment/NSLP data for each school, completing the Connectivity Module, and the Contracts Module).
1:30 – 3:00 will be devoted to completing the Form 471. I will demo three Category 1 FRNs (voice, WAN and Internet), and three Category 2 FRNs (shared equipment, site specific equipment and structured cabling).
After each demo, there will be ample time for Q&As. The webinars are free, but you must register in order to attend.
Register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/471
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t write before Friday, have a wonderful holiday, everyone!
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator