June 2021 School’s Out! E-rate Update

June 17, 2021

Good morning, E-raters!  Below are several quick E-rate and ECF updates and reminders…

  • Emergency Connectivity Fund:  The ECF application window will open June 29 and close August 13 for off-campus internet connections and laptops/tablets that will be purchased from 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022.  To view FAQs, summaries and presentations, visit: http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=32310.
  • New 470 Coming July 1:  USAC will be launching a new E-rate Form 470 on July 1 that will look much different than the current version of the form.  I’ll send complete details after the form goes live.
  • Pace of FY 2021 Funding Commitments:  Overall, 76% of PA FY 2021 funding requests have been decided thus far.  PIA continues to actively review applications so if your application has not yet been decided, be checking your e-mail for PIA inquiries.  If you need assistance with understanding the overall PIA review process, please see: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=33101.  If you need assistance with responding to a PIA inquiry, please e-mail me.
  • Nationwide E-rate Survey:  A nationwide E-rate survey is being conducted by Funds for Learning, asking schools and libraries to contribute their opinions and experiences with the E-rate application process.  The survey is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/21erate and survey closes tomorrow, June 18.  If you haven’t done so already, please take 3 minutes and complete the survey (anonymously, if you prefer), even if you don’t actually file the applications.  At the end of the survey, respondents have the opportunity to provide any additional comments they want to convey to USAC and the FCC.  The nationwide results will be tabulated into a comprehensive report which is then shared with the FCC, USAC and the general public.
  • Reminder to Label and Inventory Category 2 Equipment:  If you applied for Category 2 discounts this year, don’t forget to label the equipment before it’s installed, and add the equipment to your asset inventory.  For more details on these requirements, in addition to other C2-related issues, please review the Category 2 Purchasing Guide, available at: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=33168.
  • Remember to File Your FY 2021 Form 486:  The next step after receiving a FCDL (funding commitment decision letter) is to file the Form 486. It’s a very easy form to submit and I strongly encourage you to file it on the day you receive the FCDL so you don’t forget.  Two reminders:  Check the ‘Early Filing Box’ if filing the 486 before July 31, and be careful not to be “click happy” on the CIPA certifications.  Full instructions on the Form 486 can be found at:  http://e-ratepa.org/?p=33182.  I’ll send out a 486 reminder in a few weeks with the list of applicants that haven’t yet filed.
  • BEAR Reimbursement Filings:  Starting July 1, 2021, applicants can begin to submit BEARs for FY 2021 equipment purchases that were made on or after April 1.  This is also about the time when applicants who did not receive discounted vendor bills for FY 2020 will begin to submit those BEARs as well.  I’ll provide more detailed information on filing that form in the coming weeks, but I wanted you to be aware that this date is approaching.
  • Changing EPC Account Administrators/Adding New EPC Users:  Summer often brings staffing changes and it’s important that the new staff get set up in EPC so they are prepared to file for FY 2021 this fall.  Hints:  Only AA’s can create new EPC user accounts and assign User ‘permissions.’  Only AAs can transfer their AA ‘credentials’ to another existing EPC User.  If the AA is the new staff member and the previous AA is no longer with the school or library, contact CSB at 888-203-8100 and they will set up a new EPC AA account (only CSB can do this).  Also, if you need any new E-rate contacts added to the PA E-rate Listserve, please e-mail me their contact information.

Happy summer, everyone!

– Julie

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

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