June 2017 “School’s Out” E-rate Update

June 14, 2017

Summer has unofficially begun!  Although schools and the FY 2017 E-rate filing window have closed, E-rate never rests.  Please take a minute and review these E-rate updates as you head to the pool or pack the camper.

When Will You Receive your FY 2017 Funding Commitments Notification?  USAC has released Waves 1 and 2 (for Category 1 applications only, unfortunately), and we’re expecting a wave to be released each week hereafter until all applications have been approved.  If you want to determine the status of your 471 in the PIA review process, log into EPC and from the Landing Page (home page), scroll to the bottom of the page and under Form Type, select ’471,’ then click on “Certified,” it will give you a list of your submitted 471s.  Click on the 471 #, it will take you to a summary page.  At the top of that summary page will be a graphic that shows where your application is in the process.  Here is an example:

Review Status

PIA Review Process:  Inquiries from PIA reviewers generally involve requests for clarification and/or additional documentation on product or applicant eligibility, discount rate calculations, etc.  All PIA inquiries will be sent in EPC, and all responses to these inquiries also will be submitted via EPC.  These are serious inquires that must be addressed in a timely fashion.  PIA inquiries typically provide 15-day deadlines for responses but I encourage you to respond as soon as you receive the e-mail.  The sooner you respond, the sooner you’ll receive your E-rate FCDL.  If you haven’t responded to the PIA inquiry within 7 days of the initial request, PIA will send you a reminder.  If you haven’t responded after 15 days, USAC may act on the information they already have to make a funding decision (which typically means denial).  If you need an extension, you can request a single, 7-day extension of the original deadline if you need more time.  To do so, access your PIA Inquiry in EPC, choose Related Actions, then Request Extension.  The first extension request will be automatically granted.  If you still need more time, you must have a good reason to need extra time, and PIA will review your extension request before making a decision.  A guide to the EPC-based PIA review process, including screenshots of the EPC PIA inquiry pages, can be found here:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=19981.

How to Make Corrections to your Submitted Form 471:  If you need to make a correction to your certified Form 471, you may do so using the RAL Modification Process up until the point at which your application has been funded.   However, I strongly encourage you submit your RAL Corrections as soon as you know of a change that must be made so the PIA reviewer can have it in-hand during their review. If you want to add an FRN or increase funding, you also may request this change, but you will be asked to show documentation dated prior to the window deadline to substantiate the request.  For detailed instructions on how to access the RAL Modification System in EPC, please see:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=20061.

FY 2017 SPIN Changes & Service Substitutions:  These post-commitment functions for FY 2017 aren’t yet available and so USAC wants you to submit them as RAL Corrections and have them taken care of during PIA review.  And knowing that it often takes USAC 6+ months to review the post-commitment requests, taking care of these requests during the PIA Review process (pre-commitment) is the fastest and easiest way to handle these requests.  If you’ve already been funded and need to make post-commitment changes, submit them as appeals in EPC.

FY 2017 Form 486 Not Yet Available:  After you’ve received your Funding Commitment Notification, the next step is to log into EPC to “generate” your FCDL and file the Form 486.  Unfortunately, the FY 2017 Form 486 is not yet functional.  I will send a message to the listserve as soon as it is available which hopefully will be before July 1.

Entity Profile Updates:  In February 2017, USAC “locked” all school and library EPC profiles in order to open the Form 471 filing window.  Those EPC profiles havenow been “unlocked” and changes can be made.  However, please know that EPC changes made now will not be transferred to or reflected in your FY 2017 application.  If you need to make changes to your FY 2017 application (such as adding a school, changing school name, updating enrollment/NSLP data, etc), you should do so using the RAL Modification Process described above.

Form 471 Contact Changes:  This time of year it is common to have staff turnover.  If the contacted listed on your Form 471 has changed, please submit a RAL Modification to alert USAC to whom future PIA correspondence should be sent.  Or contact me and I’ll make sure PIA gets notified.

Reminder:  Don’t Forget to Cancel Expiring Contracts:  If you are changing service providers beginning July 1, 2017 or no longer need a particular service, don’t forget to notify your existing vendor in writing that your service will be terminating on June 30.  Many contracts, even if they contain an expiration date, require that notice must be provided X number of days in advance or the contract will continue for another year.  You don’t want to be caught having to pay for service you don’t want simply because you forgot to give the required notice.

Upcoming Listserve Messages:  Soon you’ll receive reminders from me related to requesting discounted bills from vendors for FY 2017, purchasing C2 equipment prior to funding commitment, and filing for FY 2016 BEARs.  Stay tuned!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jtschell@comcast.net.

Happy Summer, E-raters!

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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