Form 471 Filing Guide – Category 1 Services – FY 2019

February 10, 2019

Attached: Form 471 Filing Guide – Category 1 – FY 2019

~ Almost no changes for FY 2019’s Category 1 Form 471 ~

~ PIA already reviewing submitted 471s! ~
~ Helpful hints below ~

Congratulations to the 198 PA schools and libraries that have already filed their FY 2019 Form 471s!  For the 900+ applicants that haven’t yet filed, there are only 45 days left to do so before the March 27, 2019 deadline.  I know that some FY 2019 applicants have already received their PIA inquiries (!!!), so don’t delay in submitting so you can be in the first waves that are slated to begin in late April!  The FY 2019 Category 1 Form 471 contains almost no changes except 1)  all references to voice services have been removed, and 2) there is no longer a requirement to update the Connectivity Questions in EPC prior to submitting the 471.


Attached you will find a helpful Form 471 Filing Guide for Category 1 Services.  It contains 115 slides, providing screenshots and hints/answers to each question related to three different types of funding requests as follows:

  • Cable Modem Internet (MTM) – 1 FRN line item (starts on slide 16)
  • Internet Access w/Transport (contract) – 1 FRN line item (starts on slide 40)
  • Lit fiber WAN (contract) – 3 FRN line items (starts on slide 64)
  • Copy FRN Feature – (starts on slide 110)


  1. For Internet and Data FRNs, Answer the Yes/No Questions This Way:
  • Answer 2nd Question first (is this for a WAN?)
  • If the answer to the 2nd Question is Yes, then the answer to 1st question is No
  • Internet FRNs should always answer No/Yes.
  • There is a small exception for consortia backbone applications where they would answer No/No.
  1. Creating FRN Line Items – Breaking Out Unit Costs

Although it’s easy to figure out how to “Add an FRN,” creating the Line Items under that FRN to actually describe the services/equipment and specify the amount of funding requested is a little confusing.  After you’ve created an FRN, click on the FRN number in blue (it’s hyperlinked) and a page will appear asking if you want to “Add New FRN Line Item.”  Continue adding Line Items for that FRN until you’ve built your FRN.  For example, if you’re requesting funding a Lit Fiber WAN, if you have 1 – 10 GB connection, 6 – 1 GB connections, and taxes, you will have 1 FRN with 3 FRN Line Items, identifying the unique speed, costs and recipients of each Line Item; and the total taxes for the entire service.

  1. Finding Contracts Records to Select After Clicking Search

When you create an FRN in the 471, the system asks if it’s based on a contracted service or MTM service.  If you choose Contract, the system will ask which contract you want to associate with that FRN.  If you forgot to create your Contract Record in the EPC Contract Module prior to starting the 471, no worries – add them now.  In a separate tab, go to your Landing Page > Name of your District > Contracts > Manage Contracts > Add a Contract.  Then create a Contract Record for each separate contract you have (both C1 and C2).  Reminder, you’re not required to upload copies of your contracts, but I strongly suggest you do so because PIA will likely ask you for them anyway.  If you use the Copy FRN feature, your contract will still be linked from last year and doesn’t need linked again. (For help creating Contract Records, see

  1. Handing Contract Amendments in EPC

Unfortunately, there’s no way to modify or add additional documents to your existing Contract Record in EPC.  If you amended your contract (perhaps to upgrade bandwidth), PIA may reach out to you to ask why the requested services/amounts are different than what are contained in your original            contract in which case you’ll simply send them the contract amendment.  Do not create a new contract record simply because a contract was amended.

  1. Returning to the Main FRN Page (and stop adding FRN Line Items)

When you’re in the FRN Line Item page, instead of clicking on the green “Add New FRN Line Item,” click on the “Continue” button at the bottom right of the page.  That will take you back to the Main FRN page where you will find all of the FRNs you’ve created.  To get back into the FRN Line Item(s) for a single FRN, click on the blue FRN number (it’s hyperlinked).

  1. Getting Back Into the 471

If you click on something that takes you out of the 471, or if you deliberately leave the 471, it’s easy to return where you left off.  Simply go to your EPC Landing Page by clicking on the USAC Logo, and then under “My Tasks” click on the appropriate “FCC Form 471 – #18xxxxxxxx {Nickname You Gave the Form}.”

  1. Clicked on “Review Form 471″ and I’m Lost

This is truly one of the most confusing pieces of filing the 471.  After you click “Review FCC Form 471,” the screen goes blank for a second, and then returns you to EPC.  YOU HAVE NOT YET SUBMITTED YOUR FORM.  Wait 15 seconds, refresh your browser, and under “My Tasks” on your EPC Landing Page you will see a task entitled “Review PDF for FCC Form 471 – #19xxxxxxxxx {Nickname You Gave the Form}.  Click on this task, and you will be taken back to the 471 and given the opportunity to review a PDF of your draft 471.  If you have no changes, check the small certification box, then “Continue to Certification.”  If you do have changes, click on “Edit Form” in the bottom left corner of the screen to return to the 471.

  1. Clicked on “Save and Share” and Lost My 471

Whenever possible, don’t click this button!  The draft 471 is then taken from your EPC profile and a message is sent to all other “users” associated with the organization asking if they want to “accept the task.”  Only ever use the “Save and Share” feature if you truly want to “pass the ball” to another user to finish or certify the application.

  1. How to Answer 2 Questions on the Certification Page

On the final Certification Page, there are two questions asking if you received any funds from a service provider or if a service provider has helped you locate funds.  The answer to both of these questions should be NO.  Essentially, they are asking if a service provider has waived any of your non-discounted amounts (your fair share), or given you funds to offset those amounts. Don’t be confused by the meaning of these questions or pause in anyway.  The answers should always be NO.  If a vendor does offer to waive your share or give you funds to cover it, cancel your contract with that vendor and go to the next lowest bid.

  1. Changing/Updating Enrollment & NSLP Data

Although it’s too late up update your EPC Profile (the Admin Window closed on January 15), 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:  Find your submitted Form 471 from             the bottom of your EPC Landing Page > Form 471 > FY 2019 > 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.

  1. 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 2019, 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.

  1. Have Documentation of Taxes/Surcharges

If your invoices include vendor taxes/surcharges, be sure to include those amounts on a separate FRN Line Item.  Last year PIA asked 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 5.25% PA Gross Receipts Tax (at a minimum), and many also charge the Universal Service Fee     (currently 20%).  Most Internet invoices do not include taxes/surcharges.

If you have any questions as you’re working through your Form 471, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at

Happy filing!

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f

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