Form 471 Filing Guide – Category 2 Services
April 3, 2017
Attached: Form 471 Category 2 Filing Guide 2017
Attached you will find the FY 2017 Category 2 Form 471 Filing Guide. It contains 126 slides, walking you through three funding requests as follows:
- Wireless Equipment – 2 line items – WAPs/Controller (starts on slide 17)
- Network Switches – 1 line item (starts on slide 51)
- Structured Cabling – 1 line item (starts on slide 73)
- Internal Connections Bulk Upload Guide (starts on slide 103)
- Category 2 Contract Requirement
All Category 2 purchases require a signed contract prior to submitting the Form 471. This can be as simple as signing/dating the vendor contract, and including the contract term and any funding contingencies. Before starting your Form 471, upload the signed contract into EPC. Landing Page > Name of District > Contracts > Manage Contracts. The Contract Module Guide can be found at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=18831. The PEPPM Contract Module Guide can be found at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=18891.
- Wisely Allocate C2 Budgets for Shared Equipment
If a piece of Category 2 equipment is shared by two or more schools, the cost of the equipment must be allocated from the C2 budgets of the schools sharing the equipment (core switches and wireless controllers are good examples of shared equipment). Deciding which cost allocation method to choose — and making sure you do so correctly on your Form 471 — is important. You can either 1) allocate the costs equally (the same amounts) from each school’s C2 budget that is using the equipment, or 2) allocate the costs on a weighted basis. The second option requires some off-line math to be done, but it allocates more funding from the schools that have larger C2 budgets which may be advantageous to you. Here is a Guide to help you figure out the cost allocation guidelines/math for shared equipment – http://e-ratepa.org/?p=12651.
- Break Out All Components into Separate FRN Line Items
If your Category 2 request contains multiple components, you must create a separate FRN Line Item for each component (model), and then show the # of units, the cost per unit, and which schools will be using the equipment. For example, switches often have multiple components that comprise a single switch, and the 471 requires you to create a new FRN Line Item for each component.
- Category 2 FRN Line Items Made Easy – Using the Bulk Upload Template
When applying for E-rate funding for Internal Connections, the Form 471 requires every component to be listed on its own FRN Line Item, followed by a detailed listing of which entities will be using the equipment and how much funding should be allocated from their respective Category 2 budgets to pay for the equipment. Creating these FRNs can be time consuming, as many of you have discovered over the last two years. To help alleviate this burden, USAC has created off-line Templates that can be completed and then uploaded into the Funding Request instead of manually creating/adding FRN Line Items. The Bulk Upload Guide is included in the attached Category 2 Form 471 Guide, starting on page 103.
- Copying a Funding Request
If you already created a FY 2017 (or FY 2016) Funding Request and would like to re-use it as the basis for a new FY 2017 FRN, simply use the Copy FRN function. A helpful Copy FRN Guide is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=19301. This can be useful if you created an application and want to submit a nearly identical funding request, or if you previously submitted an application and now realize you want to make changes (sometimes it’s easier to cancel an FRN or 471 and start over rather than submitting a RAL Correction request which takes PIA extra time to process).
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. Happy Filing!
Julie Tritt Schell