Mid-Window E-rate Update

February 20, 2018

~ 32 Days Until the Form 471 Deadline ~
~ 2 Days Remain to File 470 ~

Welcome back from the long weekend, E-raters!  It’s time to really buckle down on your FY 2018 E-rate funding requests as we’re headed into the home stretch of the FY 2018 E-rate Filing Window.  Please review the updates/hints below to ensure your E-rate applications will be successful.  These are general filing updates; I’ll send specific C1 and C2 filing updates in separate messages.

Last Minute Form 470s or PEPPM Mini-Bids

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to post any last minute Form 470s for new equipment, for C1 MTM services (must be filed annually), or for services/equipment covered under a new contract.   For specific Form 470 reminders and hints, see: http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=754.  The very last day that you can post a 470 is February 22, but this only leaves the final day of the Form 471 window – March 22 — to evaluate your bids, obtain local approvals, sign contracts, upload contracts and complete the 471.  Please don’t wait another minute to file your Form 470!

Changing/Updating Enrollment & NSLP Data

Although it’s too late up update your EPC Profile (the Admin Window closed on January 10), if you find that you forgot to update your data or found inaccuracies, you can still make corrections.  After the 471 is submitted, submit a RAL Modification using these steps:  From your EPC Landing Page > Name of District or Library > Forms (from top toolbar) > Form 471 > FY 2018 > Select 471 Number > Related Actions (from top toolbar) > Submit Modification Request (RAL) > Answer the appropriate questions in the RAL Correction module.  Use the “Entity” portion of the RAL Modification module to update the enrollment/NSLP data.  Note:  although it’s not required, it also may be helpful to list the updated data in the Form 471 narrative box.

Copy FRN Functionality – Don’t Use

The Form 471 contains the functionality to copy previously-generated FRNs to your FY 2018 application.  While I think this is a great time-saver, I am advising against using this functionality for FY 2018.  Why?  Almost every glitch that has been reported to me thus far during this Form 471 filing window has been attributed back to the Copy FRN feature.  Also, when applicants select ‘yes’ that this is a continuation of a service from a previous year, the system changes this answer to “no” when the previous year’s FRN is copied, which is then resulting in PIA questions about why they selected ‘no’ when it should have been ‘yes’.

Reminders Before Starting Form 471:

  1. CONNECTIVITY SURVEY:  Be sure your Connectivity Data Module in EPC is up to date.  If no changes have been made in your Internet bandwidth, building broadband levels or building WIFI connectivity since last year, no updates are required.  If you have experienced changes in one of these areas, don’t forget to update this information in the Connectivity Data Module in EPC prior.  If you do nothing, the data you entered in last year’s Connectivity Data Module will remain and be brought forward to your FY 2018 Form 471.   Remember, this is just a survey and has no direct connection to your Funding Requests.
  2. CONTRACT RECORDS:   If you signed a new contract for FY 2018, a new Contract Record must be created in EPC prior to starting the Form 471.  If you are submitting an FRN for FY 2018 based on a multi-year contract for which you created a Contract Record in EPC in a previous year, you should NOT create a new Contract Record for FY 2018 – just cite that same contract record that’s in your Contract Module when prompted to do so in the Form 471.
  3. CONSORTIA MEMBER UPDATES:  Consortia profiles in EPC have been “locked down” HOWEVER, the Client Service Bureau (CSB) does have the ability to assist consortia leaders with updating their consortia membership.  Call them at 888-203-8100 or create a Customer Service Case in EPC prior to starting your Form 471.

Category 1 and Category 2 Filing Guides, Etc.

The Helpful Documents page on the PA E-rate website (http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=754) is filled with Guides and useful information to help you be successful.  Please refer to this page to guide you through any step of the process:

If you have any questions about any of these or any other E-rate topics, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at jtschell@comcast.net!

Happy Filing!

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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