16 Days Remain to File 471s

March 9, 2020

~ Deadline is Wednesday, March 25 ~

~ 444 PA entities have filed! ~

We’re headed into the home stretch of the FY 2020 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 Reminder!!!!:  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 – The deadline to file Form 470s has passed.  If you missed this deadline, please contact me immediately.
  • 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 may disqualify proposals that come in after the deadline that was listed in their Form 470 or RFP.  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32186
  • 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, ability to remove closed schools, E-rate funding contingencies, guaranteed network delivery date and penalties for not meeting that date, etc.  See this new contract guidance document: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32178
  • 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 most 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 2020 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=32156.  PEPPM Contract Record Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32167
  • File the Form 471 – Category 1 and Category 2 requests must be filed on separate Form 471s, but you may file multiple forms for each category.   Here are links to Form 471 filing guides, including a guide to help ensure that your C2 budget is calculated correctly so you don’t request more than your C2 budget allows.

Category 1 Filing Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32259

Category 2 Filing Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32222

 Filing Guidance When Transitioning to a New Broadband Service: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=30291

Calculating Category 2 Budgets:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32277

Category 2 Bulk Upload Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32213

Modifying/Canceling Form 471shttp://e-ratepa.org/?p=32266

  • 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 near the end of April.  FCDL notifications will be e-mailed on a weekly basis, with a goal of issuing them all by September 1.  Applicants may purchase C2 equipment on or after April 1, 2020, but no reimbursements will be made until July 1, 2020.

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