FY 2019 Form 471 Deadline is Tomorrow!

March 26, 2019

~ Contact me ASAP if you can’t meet the March 27 deadline ~
~ Ask Me Anything Webinar Today at 11 am ~

By my calculations, about 200 PA entities still have to file before tomorrow.  If you haven’t yet started the 471, please do so today!  The forms, particularly Category 2 applications, can take several hours to complete.  We are also seeing the EPC system beginning to really slow down from about 11:30 – 5, so you may want to consider filing earlier or later in the day.  If you cannot make the March 27 deadline, please contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss your options.

I’m holding the final Ask Me Anything Webinar in my Zoom Room today from 11 – noon if you’d like to chat in real-time:  https://paiu.zoom.us/my/jtschell.  Otherwise, e-mail is the best way to reach me over the next two days.  I’ll be available tonight and tomorrow evenings as well.

At the bottom of this message are links to the Guides that can help you navigate through almost every step of the application.

Here are answers to the most frequent questions I’ve received over the last 7 days:


1. I’m having trouble with the Category 2 Bulk Upload.  What should I do?

First, the C2 Bulk Upload Templates are optional.  But if you’re trying to use it and are having trouble, send it to me and let me troubleshoot.  Hint:  Use > Right Click > Clear Contents to reset the Reference Numbers in Column A.  Template available at: https://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step03/form-471.aspx.

2. My Category 2 requests exceed my remaining C2 budget for a school.  What should I list on the 471? 

First, know that the system is not smart enough to know if you’re requesting more funding than remains in your C2 budgets.  Second, if a school’s C2 equipment costs exceed the school’s available C2 budget, you have two choices:  1) list the amount that is “over budget” as ineligible on the FRN and then explain this in the narrative, or 2) remove components or reduce the cost of the components from the FRN entirely to come in under budget.  To figure out a school’s remaining C2 budget, multiply $159.66 * Enrollment.  Then subtract the pre-discount amounts that were approved from FY 2015 – FY 2018 (you can look these up by E-rate entity number at https://sltools.universalservice.org/portal-external/budgetLookup/.

3. Should I include $0-value C2 items on my FRN? 

No.  Leave those off.

4. What option do we select for C2 installation?

Select > Miscellaneous > Installation from the drop down options.

5. Should C2 licenses be treated as Internal Connections or Basic Maintenance?

Equipment licenses should be applied for as Internal Connections.  Be careful not to confuse licenses with maintenance charges.  If the licenses are maintenance charges, they must be listed on a separate FRN under Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.

6. Can maintenance/support be included on the same FRN as the Internal Connections FRN? 

No.  Support/maintenance charges must be filed on a separate FRN using the Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections drop down.  Also, don’t forget that multi-year support SKUs must be pro-rated so you’re only applying for 1-year’s worth of support (so if you’re paying upfront for 3 years of support, you must apply for 1/3 of the cost each year).  This is different from multi-year licenses which are full eligible in the first year.


7. Are vendor taxes and fees E-rate eligible? 

Most are and you should include them as a separate FRN Line Item on your FRN (don’t bundle them with your monthly cost).  PIA will ask you for proof of these charges, so don’t guess.  If you already submitted your 471 and didn’t include those fees, you can either add a new FRN Line Item to the existing Form 471 using the RAL Modification process, or submit a new 471 by tomorrow (copy the previously-submitted FRN, add the additional FRN Line Item) and then use the RAL Modification to cancel the original FRN.

8. Does the vendor contract have to be signed by both the vendor and the applicant before the 471 is filed?

All contracts must be signed by the applicant prior to filing the Form 471.   The vendor is not required to sign by the Form 471 filing.

9. I need to edit my incomplete 471 – how to get 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 – #18XXXXX {Nickname You Gave the Form}.”

– Or if you’re on the ‘Review PDF’ page, click on “Edit Form” in the bottom left corner to get back into the form.

– Or if you clicked on Save and Share or Send for Certification, EPC has sent the form to all “full rights users” in your EPC account, and the form has disappeared from your Landing Page Task List.  You’ll have to contact one of the full rights users in your organization and have them send it back to you.

10. Can we upload contract amendments to our existing Contract Record in EPC? 

Unfortunately, you cannot 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.  There’s also no way to delete an existing Contract Record.

11. We just realized that we need to make changes to a school’s entity profile but the system is locked down.  What should we do?

There was an “Admin Window” from Oct 1 – January 15 when such changes could be made; however, the system is now locked down and no changes can be made, including to Enrollment, NSLP data, Entity Name changes, etc.  However, you can submit a RAL correction to memorialize the changes after the 471 is submitted (http://e-ratepa.org/?p=29751).

Topic-Related Guides and Additional Guidance:

Happy Spring!

– Julie

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

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