Form 471 – Additional Updates/Reminders

March 12, 2018

Attached: BULK UPLOAD TEMPLATE – Internal Connections – Version 18.1

~ Deadline is just 10 days away! ~

The FY 2018 Form 471 deadline is Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.  So far, 452 PA entities have submitted 1076 FRNs, and 550 of those are already in “Wave Ready” status which means there’s a strong likelihood that they will be funded in Wave 1!

A few important updates and reminders:

    1. Copy FRN Function Fixed – On Friday USAC announced that they fixed the problems with the Copy FRN feature and it should no longer cause system errors.  This can be a real time saver if you have large FRNs (particularly Category 1 FRNs) from a previous year, or even another FY 2018 Form 471, that you just want to copy and make updates.  Be sure to update the Service Start Date to 7/1/2018, and review the requested amounts and Recipients of Service to ensure all data is still accurate.  Note:  If you added or removed entities from your EPC profile since last year, those changes will not be reflected in the newly copied FRN so updates will need to be made in order for the application to proceed.
    2. Revised Category 2 Bulk Upload Template – Without warning, USAC issued an updated version of their C2 Bulk Upload Template to ver 18.1.  If using the Bulk Upload feature, you must use this new version from now on.  Version 18.1 is attached and also is available at  A guide for using the Bulk Upload Template is available at:  If you’re having trouble getting the template to work, let me know.
    3. Category 2 Budget Amounts – USAC has still not “officially” announced the inflation-adjusted Category 2 per-pupil amounts for FY 2018, likely because they’re wrestling with a compounding/rounding issue.  I believe that the $156.23/student amount is firm, but the library per square foot may be $2.39 or $2.40.  Libraries, please use the $2.39 amount to be safe and not go over budget.
    4. Don’t Make Category 2 Purchases Before April 1 – I’ve heard from a few vendors that they’ve already received Purchase Orders for FY 2018 E-rate orders, which is a no-no.  E-rate rules permit the purchasing of Internal Connections equipment on or after April 1, 2018 – but not before.
    5. Respond Promptly to PIA Inquiries – Many of you are already receiving PIA questions (PIA is the arm of USAC that reviews every line of every application).  Please be sure to respond to these inquiries promptly so you can get in the queue for an earlier funding wave.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance!
    6. Have Written Documentation if Extending a Contract – If you have a contract that includes voluntary extensions, and you are exercising one of those extensions for FY 2018, be sure to have something in writing to or with the service provider.  PIA will see that your Contract Expiration Date is a year later than last year and will require you to submit proof that you extended the contract.  Such documentation to or with the service provider must be dated on or before the date you submitted your Form 471.  It’s also a good idea to mention in the FRN Narrative box that you are extending the contract.
    7. Have Documentation of Taxes/Surcharges – If your invoices include vendor taxes/surcharges, be sure to include those amounts on a separate FRN Line Item.  I’ve heard that PIA is asking for proof of those amounts this year, so be prepared to provide PIA a copy of a vendor invoice or contract that shows these amounts, should you be asked.  If you have signed a new contract with a vendor and don’t yet know the taxes/fees, REQUIRE YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THIS INFORMATION.  For most broadband services, vendors charge the 5% PA Gross Receipts Tax (at a minimum), and many also charge the Universal Service Fee (currently 18.4%).  Most Internet invoices do not include taxes/surcharges.
    8. Timing of FY 2018 Funding Commitments? – I expect the first funding wave for FY 2018 will come out in early May.

Please e-mail me if you have any questions!

Happy Form 471 Filing!

– Julie

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


Site graciously hosted by the Capital Area IU 15 | Site designed and maintained by Silver Penny Studio