Funding Year 2019 – Let’s Get Started! 

September 14, 2018

~ Veterans Training on Sept 27 ~

Funding Year 2019 begins July 1, 2019, but the application process starts now!  Below are some important updates to get the season started…

  • FY 2019 E-rate Window Filing Dates –Although not yet “official,” I expect the Form 471 Application Window to be open from January 10 – March 20March 20 is an incredibly early Form 471 filing deadline; therefore, plan to have all of your 470s posted by late November, so contracts can get board approval in January or February.  This year PEPPM mini-bids can’t be released until January 2, so these contracts likely will all have to go on February board agendas (or perhaps late January agendas).  As soon as the formal announcement is made, I’ll send a more detailed message to the listserve.
    • Form 471 (annual request for discounts):  January 10, 2019 – March 20, 2019
      • Last date to update entity profiles in EPC:  January 7, 2019
      • Last date to file Form 470’s:  February 20, 2019
      • Earliest applicants can issue PEPPM mini-bids to vendors: January 2, 2019
      • Earliest applicants can purchase Category 2 equipment:  April 1, 2019
    • FCDLs Issued:  April 19, 2019 – September 1, 2019 (goal)
    • BEARs/SPIs Due for FY 2019 Recurring Services:  October 28, 2020 (always 120 days after the last date to receive service)
    • BEARs/SPIs Due for FY 2019 Non-Recurring Services:  January 28, 2021 (always 120 days after the last date to receive service)
  • Big *Big* Year for Category 2– FY 2019 is the final year to apply for Category 2 funding for applicants who first received Category 2 funding in FY 2015.  Under the current program, applicants should have a 5-year cycle to apply for their Category 2 funding, with Year 1 being the first year the applicant is committed C2 funding, beginning with FY 2015.  If an applicant has not yet utilized any of their C2 budget, FY 2019 is the last year they can “opt-in” to the C2 funding initiative and still be apply for the funding over a 5-year cycle.  However… the FCC has not said – definitively – whether the Category 2 initiative will extend beyond FY 2019 (that announcement is expected to be known by January 2019).  Therefore, my advice for PA applicants is to utilize as much of their Category 2 budgets as possible in Funding Year 2019, while we know with 100% certainty that the Category 2 budgets are in effect and will be funded at the current levels. 
  • PA E-rate Beginners’ Trainings– Because so much Category 2 funding is at stake in FY 2019 ($27 million) and will therefore be a major focus of Funding Year 2019, I’ve changed the framework and locations of this year’s in-person beginners’ trainings.  The locations were selected based on the number of districts within a 1-hour drive who have not used any of their Category 2 funding.  I realize the locations are not in metropolitan areas, but I hope you will still attend if you need E-rate training.  The framework for the day has been modified from previous years to have the step-by-step process, eligibility and Category 1 issues be the focus of the morning, and Category 2 be the focus of the afternoon.  That way applicants who aren’t interested in the beginners training, but want to gear-up for Category 2, can just attend the afternoon session.  You are welcome to attend both!  Register now at:
  • PA Veterans’ Training – Mark your calendars!  On Thursday, September 27, from 1:00 – 2:30, I will hold a webinar for returning applicants (our E-rate ‘Veterans’) to kick off the new year.  Please save this date and I will send the formal announcement/registration link in the next few days.  Additional webinars will be scheduled and announced in the coming days as well.
  • FY 2019 Form 470 Available– The FY 2019 Form 470 is now available to use if you need to start your procurements early.  The Category 1 drop down options are *barely* improved from last year, unfortunately.  I will be sending a complete breakdown of the changes shortly, but if you need to post a 470 in the next 2 weeks and need assistance, please let me know.  If possible, wait until you receive my 470 guidance before filing for FY 2019.
  • Important – Timing of FY 2019 PEPPM Mini-Bids– If you intend to use the PEPPM Mini-bid system as the procurement vehicle for your FY 2019 Category 2 equipment purchases, NOTE THAT YOU CANNOT RELEASE A PEPPM MINI-BID TO VENDORS UNTIL AT LEAST JANUARY 2, 2019.  Why?  The current PEPPM contract expires at the end of 2018 and the next contract will not become available for use until January 2, 2019.  Thus, no mini-bids can be issued to the new awarded vendors until at least that date.  The Form 471 filing deadline is expected to be March 20, which means that, assuming your PEPPM procurement is conducted in early January, your C2 contracts will have to go to your school boards in late January or February.  Yes, it’s going to be a very compacted bidding/contract approval/contract signing window this year.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

– Julie

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

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