3 Weeks Remain to File 471s

March 5, 2019

~ Deadline is Wednesday, March 27 ~

~ 372 PA entities have filed! ~

We’re headed into the home stretch of the FY 2019 E-rate filing window and for those who have not yet filed, I wanted to take a moment and recap the steps and provide links to the previous messages that contain a wealth of information/helpful filing guides.  Important:  You must file a Form 471 each year to request E-rate funding, even if you’re in a multi-year contract.  There is no such thing as a multi-year E-rate funding commitment.

  • Form 470 Competitive Bidding– For applicants that need to sign new contracts for FY 2019, the deadline to file 470’s was February 27.  If you missed this deadline, please contact me immediately.  The absolute deadline to post PEPPM mini-bids for Category 2 equipment is March 13.
  • Bid Evaluation– After the Form 470 has been posted for 28 days, applicants may conduct their bid evaluations to determine the lowest responsible bidder.  Applicants are not required to consider spam bids or proposals that come in after the 28th day.  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=28851
  • Negotiate Vendor Contracts– Applicants are encouraged to review carefully the contracts vendors are proposing and to request language be inserted that meets YOUR needs.  Examples:  specific # of contract extensions, discounted billing requirement, ability to add sites to network, E-rate contingencies, guaranteed network delivery date and penalties for not meeting that date, etc.
  • Board Approvals– If required by your local policies, applicants must obtain board approvals prior to signing the vendor contract.  Libraries and non-public schools typically don’t have this requirement, but public schools often do.
  • Sign Contracts E-rate requires that new contracts be signed by the applicant prior to filing the Form 471; the vendor signature can be obtained at any time (not required before E-rate filing).  The only situations where a contract is not required is where Category 1 services are being purchased on a month-to-month (MTM) basis (in which case a FY 2019 Form 470 must have been posted).  Also, if you’re extending an existing contract, be sure to have something in writing (a formal extension or an e-mail to the vendor) as this will be requested during your PIA review.
  • Create Contract Records in EPC – Create a Contract Record in EPC for each new contract, prior to starting the Form 471.  Applicants with existing multi-year contracts or contract extensions are not required to create a new Contract Record; they will simply cite the original Contract Record when creating the Form 471 funding request.  General Contract Record Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=28951.  PEPPM Contract Record Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=28991
  • File the Form 471 – Category 1 and Category 2 requests must be filed on separate Form 471s, and you may file multiple forms for each category.  Two hints: Category 1:  For WANs, list the unit cost for each circuit and then the # of circuits.  Category 2:  If you have more than a few components, or if equipment is going to more than 1 school, create and use a Bulk Upload Template instead of filing multiple FRN Line Items and then doing the building-by-building cost breakdowns.

Category 1 Filing Guidehttp://e-ratepa.org/?p=29151

Category 2 Filing Guidehttp://e-ratepa.org/?p=29321

Calculating Category 2 Budgets:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=29681

Category 2 Bulk Upload Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=29361

Modifying/Canceling Form 471s: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=29751

  • PIA Review– After the Form 471 is filed, your application will be reviewed by USAC’s PIA Team to ensure your discounts are valid, you’re requesting eligible equipment/services, you’ve complied with the competitively bidding process, and you haven’t requested more than your remaining Category 2 budgets.  If PIA has questions, they will send you an e-mail with a link to the PIA Inquiry Module in EPC where the applicant will find the specific PIA questions.  It is not uncommon for applicants to receive PIA Inquiries within a few days of submitting their 471, and then move to Wave Ready Status as soon as they respond to the Inquiry.
  • Funding Commitments – The earliest that anyone will receive their E-rate Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) will be the end of April.  FCDL notifications will be e-mailed on a weekly basis, with a goal of issuing them all by September 1.

If you have any questions or need my assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Also, if you’re having trouble with your Category 2 Bulk Uploads, please reach out to me right away – I have super skills when it comes to getting these to work. : )

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

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