Important: 2nd E-rate Filing Window to Open Due to COVID

September 16, 2020

Attached: 2nd Window – DA-20-1091A1

~ Webinar Scheduled for Sept 22 ~

Today the FCC released an Order that grants SECA’s request to open a second FY 2020 E-rate filing window to allow schools to seek additional funding to cover their unanticipated and increased demand for on-campus Category 1 connectivity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The data the FCC used to support this decision came directly from your responses to the survey we released in August!

If you have increased your Internet and/or data transmission service beyond what was requested on your original FY 2020 Form 471, or if you wish to increase such bandwidth, please read the details of this new funding opportunity below and plan to submit an application when the window opens.  It will be a very abbreviated filing window.

Webinar Scheduled:  In order to discuss this special filing window with interested schools, I have scheduled a webinar on Tuesday, Sept 22 at 2:30 p.m.  To attend, please register at:

Filing Window Details:

  • The filing window will open as soon as the Order is published in the Federal Register, which could take a week or possibly two.
  • The deadline for filing will be Friday, October 16.
  • Both Internet and WAN bandwidth can be included, but no Category 2 equipment/services.  Also, only on-campus connectivity is eligible.
  • Services from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 are eligible.  However, if you increased Internet bandwidth prior to July 1, those costs would not be eligible because they fall outside the FY 2020 funding year.
  • There is no requirement to competitively bid the new or upgraded services, with 3 conditions:
  1. Applicant has a previously-filed Form 470 for the services (even if the bandwidth is different)
  2. Applicant received a FY 2020 FCDL for C1 Internet access and/or data transmission services (or has an application pending) that relied on that FCC Form 470, and
  3. The funding request submitted during the 2nd filing window must contain a per megabit cost that is equal to or less than the original contract.  Alternatively, if the price per megabit is higher than the original contract, USAC will limit the funding commitment to the price per megabit in the original contract.
  4. NOTE:  If a school increases their bandwidth beyond what was in the original Form 470 scope, they must competitively bid the additional bandwidth for FY 2021.  For example, if the original 470 was posted in 2019 and was for 500 mb of Internet, and the school increases it to 1 Gb of Internet due to COVID and wants to keep the 1 GB of Internet bandwidth for FY 2021, they would have to post a new 470 for FY 2021 that covers the 1 GB.
  • Although most schools will obtain the additional bandwidth from their existing service provider, they may use a different provider if their existing service provider is unable to provide sufficient bandwidth to meet the demand.
  • The opening of the FY 2021 “Admin Window” (where schools update their enrollment/NSLP data) will be delayed by a few weeks due to this new application window.

Form 471:

  • Applicants that wish to submit an application in the 2nd Form 471 window must submit the following information in the narrative section of the new FCC Form 471 funding request:

(1) The original FY 2020 Form 471 and FRN numbers that previously relied on the Form 470;

(2) A statement confirming that the requested E-Rate discounts are for additional bandwidth needed as a result of COVID-19.

(3) Additional information about the price per megabit in the original and new funding requests and highlight any difference in pricing in order to facilitate and expedite USAC’s review.

  • Do not submit a Form 471 now; you must wait until the window officially opens.

If you have questions that are not answered in this message, please let me know.

This decision is wonderful news for the school E-rate community.  Although it doesn’t cover off-campus Internet, hopefully it will provide some financial relief.  I hope you’ll apply if you have upgraded or need to upgrade your bandwidth.

– Julie

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



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