Form 471 Filing Guide – Category 1 Services
April 3, 2017
Attached: Form 471 Category 1 Filing Guide 2017
Congratulations to the 176 PA schools and libraries that have already filed their FY 2017 Form 471s! For the 900+ applicants that haven’t yet filed, there are only 38 days left to do so before the May 11, 2017 deadline. Although USAC said they can’t promise to “fund” applications in the order they’re submitted, they have promised “review” applications in this order – so submit as early as possible.
CATEGORY 1 FILING GUIDE
Attached you will find a helpful Form 471 Filing Guide for Category 1 Services. It contains 107 slides, walking you through three funding requests as follows:
- Local-long distance/PRI lines – 2 FRN line items (starts on slide 17)
- Internet access (bundled with transport) – 1 FRN line item (starts on slide 43)
- Lit fiber WAN – 3 FRN line items (starts on slide 65)
FY 2016 was the first year that applications were filed in the new E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and throughout the last year, we’ve learned a few lessons:
- File a Form 471 for EACH separate FRN.
This isn’t a USAC requirement, but based on what I saw during FY 2016 PIA reviews, smaller applications were funded faster. It doesn’t take much extra time to create a new 471 — just a few extra clicks. If you’ve already filed multiple FRNs on a single 471, that’s ok! But if you haven’t yet filed, you may want to consider “flattening” your application into several smaller ones. (Note: the exception to this advice is if you’re filing for leased dark fiber or special provisioned fiber, in which case all related FRNs should be listed on the same 471.)
- Be sure to price-out all unit costs separately.
For example, don’t list voice services as $5000/month and quantity of 1. Instead, you must show the line cost, and then the # of lines. For example, list $55/month, with a quantity of 91 lines. The system will do the math.
- For cellular services:
- Always choose “cellular voice, no data” to describe your service,even if you’re actually receiving bundled services from vendor (such as a bundled voice/data plan). The only exception to this is if you qualify for the very limited mobile broadband services (such as for bookmobiles).
- List the total cost of cellular services, then show ineligible amount. In other words, don’t do the math offline and simply enter the eligible cost because you want PIA to see that you’ve subtracted the ineligible costs. It’s also a good idea to say what was removed as ineligible in the narrative box (data services, voice mail, caller ID, text messaging, etc.).
- For Internet and Data FRNs, answer the Yes/No Questions this way:
- Answer 2nd Question first (is this for a WAN?)
- If the answer to the 2nd Question is Yes, then the answer to 1st question is No
- Internet FRNs should always answer No/Yes.
- There is a small exception for consortia backbone applications where they would answer No/No.
If you have any questions as you’re working through your Form 471, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.