E-rate Update – December 2017

December 12, 2017

Attached: FY 2016 BEAR Deadlines as of Dec 11 2017

Update Enrollment/NSLP Data in EPC Profiles Now- The Funding Year 2018 E-rate ”Admin Window” is now open which means it’s time for schools to update the enrollment/NSLP data in each of their schools’ EPC profiles and add any new schools/admin buildings.  After the Admin Window closes, the data will be “locked down” and it will not be possible to update this data in the EPC profiles because that data will be linked to active library and consortia applications.  The Admin Window deadline has not yet been announced, but I expect it to be the first week in January, which means you should update this data before leaving for the holiday break.  As soon as the Admin Window closes, the Form 471 Filing Window for FY 2018 will open.  The official PDE NSLP Data File will not be released until mid-January (at the earliest); but, the PDE Bureau of Food and Nutrition has provided us with the unofficial data that was submitted by each LEA on their October 2017 NSLP Claim Form (which is the month that goes into the official data file).  Full details about the draft NSLP data and updating the EPC profiles is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=23291.

Post Form 470’s Now For FY 2018– If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to post your FY 2018 Form 470’s to competitively bid the services/equipment for which you will seek E-rate discounts in the upcoming funding year.  The exact Form 471 deadline has not yet been announced (and therefore don’t have a firm Form 470 deadline), but is expected to be released in the next week or so.  Please don’t wait until January to file your 470’s.

Internet Access Form 470 Changes – For FY 2018 Form 470s for Internet Access, there are new options/requirements that must be met.  If you are seeking Internet delivered over fiber, you must select the LEASED LIT FIBER drop down (and no others), and explain in the narrative that you’re seeking Internet Access delivered via leased lit fiber.  If you’re seeking Internet bundled with a non-fiber transport (such as cable modem service, DSL, etc.), you must select the INTERNET ACCESS AND TRANSPORT BUNDLED drop down but be careful not to express a choice of transport in the narrative without using the words “or equivalent.”  If you don’t know or don’t care about the method of transport, select both the LEASED LIT FIBER and INTERNET/TRANSPORT BUNDLED options, but be careful not to indicate a preference in the narrative.  If you have already posted a Form 470 which is not aligned with this guidance, I strongly encourage you to re-post your Form 470 and thus re-start your 28-day bidding period.  This is the only 100% foolproof way to be confident that your Form 470 is compliant with the new guidance. There is no way to cancel an existing Form 470 but you may want to include a blurb in the narrative indicating this new 470 replaces the previous form 470 # 18000xxxx.  More information is available at:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=23401.

USAC Changes to FY 2017 Form 471 and Form 486 Service Start Dates– A few months ago, USAC announced that the Service Start Dates on Form 471s and Form 486s should never be before July 1, even though Category 2 equipment may be purchased as early as April 1 prior to the start of the funding year.  Consistent with this new guidance, USAC has been holding Form 486s until a manual review can be performed to adjust the dates.  Likewise, last week USAC began reaching out to applicants to ask if it was ok to adjust the Form 471 service start date to 7/1/2017.  From what we’ve been told, the manual Form 486 reviews have just begun, but because so many are impacted, there is a large backlog that must be reviewed (I know many of you are frustrated and that sentiment has been relayed to USAC staff).  Moving forward, all FY 2018 Form 471 and Form 486 Service Start Dates should be no earlier than 7/1/2018.

Final FY 2016 BEAR Deadlines– Many applicants requested 1-time extensions of the FY 2016 BEAR recurring services deadline and those requests should have been approved (new deadline = 2/26/2018).  Other applicants still have not yet submitted BEARs for their FY 2016 non-recurring services FRNs – such as internal connections (deadline = 1/29/2018).  Attached to this message is an updated list of all FY 2016 FRNs that have not been disbursed any funding, and who have upcoming invoice deadlines.  Please check this list and file your BEARs by the highlighted deadline if you are impacted.  If you no longer need the funds, file a Form 500 to cancel the FRN (which is especially important for Category 2 FRNs so the funding will be “decommitted” and available for future use).   Note:  If column H (Form 473 SPAC filed) shows a red NO, this means your vendor has not yet submitted their FY 2016 SPAC to USAC and you can’t get paid until they do so (see http://e-ratepa.org/?p=20121 for more information).

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

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell

PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o

717-730-9060 – f




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