FY 2021 Form 471 Application “Window” Now Open!

January 15, 2021

~ Form 471 Deadline is March 25, 2021 ~
~ Post 470’s NOW if you haven’t done so already! ~

The FY 2021 Form 471 Application Filing Window officially opened this morning and already 2 PA applicants have submitted Form 471s!  As a reminder, the Form 471 is where applicants formally request E-rate funding from the E-rate Administrator (USAC) and the form where they provide details such as specific services/equipment bandwidth and quantities, selected service providers, discount rate, costs, and the Form 470 used to competitively bid the service/equipment.   If you haven’t yet posted your Form 470 for services that must be competitively bid for FY 2021, you still have some time to do so, but not much.  Although the Form 471 deadline is March 25, and therefore the last possible date to file the Form 470 is February 25, applicants – especially public schools — should have your 470’s released as soon as possible so you have time to take the contracts to your board meeting(s) for approval.   For non-public schools, libraries and other entities that don’t require board approval, I recommend that you have all 470s filed no later than February 1.

Reminders Before Starting Form 471:

1. COMPETITIVE BIDDING:  When is Bidding Required?   Competitive bidding is required every year where this is no contract (month-to-month services) and at the beginning of every new contract (or upgrade to an existing contract).   For example, if you signed a 3 year contract in 2018 with no voluntary extensions, you must rebid for that service for FY 2021 (the existing contract would expire June 30, 2021).  Alternatively, if you signed a 5 year contract in 2018, no competitive bidding would be required for FY 2021 and you can proceed directly to filing the Form 471.  Remember, a Form 471 must be filed every year.

– When filing for Internet, be sure to refer to this guide as the 470 drop downs are confusing again this year:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32828.

– Form 470 Filing Guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32828

– For assistance with RFP and Form 470 narrative development, use this helpful guide:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32871. 

– Category 2 Bidding Requirements/Options for PA Public Schools:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32844

– Category 2 Bidding Requirements for PA Non-Public Schools/Libraries:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=32857

– If you’re using the PEPPM Mini-bid procurement option for your Category 2 requests, be sure to review and follow the detailed PEPPM Guide and templates available at:  http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=6121.

2. CONTRACT RECORDS:   If you have signed a new contract for FY 2021, a new Contract Record must be created in EPC prior to starting the Form 471.  If you are submitting a Form 471 FRN for FY 2021 based on a multi-year contract for which you created a Contract Record in EPC in a previous year, you should NOT create a new Contract Record for FY 2021 – just cite that same contract record that’s in your Contract Module when prompted to do so in the Form 471.  The only exception to this is if you found an error to an existing Contract Record, in which case you should create a new Contract Record (there’s no way to edit an existing Contract Record in EPC, unfortunately).  Also, don’t create a new Contract Record if you are utilizing one of the available extensions on an existing contract (simply update the contract expiration date when prompted on the Form 471).


a. School and library EPC profiles have now been “locked down” and no further changes can be made in EPC.  If you need to make changes to your school or library’s EPC profiles, you should submit a RAL Correction in EPC immediately after your 471 is submitted, explaining the changes that should be made. During the review of your 471, PIA will work with you to process the entity profile update.
b. Consortia memberships also have been “locked down” HOWEVER, the Client Service Bureau (CSB) does have the ability to assist consortia leaders with updating their consortia membership.  Call them at 888-203-8100 or create a Customer Service Case in EPC prior to starting your Form 471.
c. The ability to link to a consultant also has been locked down, but CSB has the ability to perform this function on the backend.

I will be sending messages to the listserve in the coming days related to conducting bid evaluations, creating Contract Records in EPC, and filing the Form 471 in EPC.

Happy Filing!

– Julie

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


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