Aug 2022: E-rate Back-to-School Update!

August 17, 2022

Happy back to school, E-raters!  After two years of modified everything, I believe E-rate’s normal schedule and rules will be returning for Funding Year 2023 (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024).  Below are E-rate updates and reminders to get us all back in the groove.

  • Important – Timing of FY 2023 PEPPM Mini-Bids – If you intend to use the PEPPM Mini-bid system as the procurement vehicle for your FY 2023 Category 2 equipment purchases, NOTE THAT YOU CANNOT RELEASE A PEPPM MINI-BID TO VENDORS UNTIL AT LEAST JANUARY 2, 2023.  The reason is that the current PEPPM contract expires at the end of 2022 and the next contract will not become available for use until January 2, 2023.  Thus, no mini-bids can be issued to (what will be) the newly awarded vendors until at least that date.  The Form 471 filing deadline is expected to be mid-March, which means that, assuming your PEPPM procurement is conducted in early January, your C2 contracts will have to go to your school boards in late January or February.
  • Wi-Fi on Buses – In May 2022, FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel proposed adding Wi-Fi on buses to the E-rate Eligible Services List (ESL) beginning in Funding Year 2023.  However, the eligibility has not yet been approved by the other commissioners and thus, we’re unsure if this service/equipment will be eligible for FY 2023.  The State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA) submitted a letter to the FCC posing several questions about the proposal, and urging the delay of eligibility until FY 2024 to give the Commission time to ensure that all issues have been addressed and applicants have ample time to be able to plan accordingly.  I will provide an update on this issue as soon as any more information is available.
  • Status of FY 2022 E-rate Funding – As of today, 95% of PA funding requests have been funded, committing more than $58 million in E-rate funding.  Only 54 Form 471s are still in PIA review.  If your application has not yet been funded and you submitted the requested documentation more than two weeks ago, please e-mail me your Form 471 number along with the details of the last communication with PIA.
  • Fall E-rate Training in PA – After a two-year hiatus, I will again be conducting in-person beginners’ training this fall in three locations.  I will also be conducting online, issue-specific training in addition to the popular veterans’ training.  Both beginners’ and veterans’ trainings and registration will be announced in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, if you are new to E-rate, please be sure that you have established your own E-rate EPC Portal account which can only be done by your EPC Account Administrator or by calling USAC at 888-203-8100.
  • FY 2023 E-rate “Admin Window” – Each fall USAC opens an “admin window” where applicants must update their EPC profiles to reflect current enrollment, NSLP data (or CEP data) and library square footage changes.  Due to the pandemic, schools were permitted to use their approved data from FY 2019, but that will no longer an option for FY 2023.  I expect the admin window will open sometime in October and close the first week in January.  As was practice pre-COVID, in mid-December I will send to the listserve the PDE draft NSLP/CEP/enrollment data for you to update your school profiles.
  • Remember to File Your FY 2022 Form 486  The next step after receiving a FCDL (funding commitment decision letter) is to file the Form 486.  If you haven’t yet filed your FY 2022 Form 486, please be sure to do so by October 28.  Two reminders:  Because it is now after July 31, you should NOT check the ‘Early Filing Box’, and be careful not to be “click happy” on the CIPA certifications.   A helpful Form 486 Filing guide is available at:  I will send a list soon of FRNs that don’t yet have 486s filed for them, so file now and stay off the list!
  • Reminders for Purchasing FY 2022 Category 2 Equipment - When purchasing Category 2 equipment/services using FY 2022 E-rate funding commitments, please remember these important items:  1) The Service Start Date on the Form 486 and/or the BEAR Form Item 11, Shipping Date to Customer, should always be on or after July 1, 2022, even if you purchased the equipment between April 1 – June 30, 2022.  Why?  The rules permit applicants to purchase equipment 3 months before the funding year begins, but the forms cannot have dates that are earlier than the first day of the funding year.  2)  Always label your equipment and then log it in your Asset Register (equipment inventory).  A helpful guide for purchasing C2 equipment, including a sample Asset Register and PO data points, can be found at:
  • 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 2022 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 CSC at 888-203-8100 and they will set up a new EPC AA account (only CSC 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.

Enjoy the remaining days of your summer and we’ll ramp up for Funding Year 2023 in September!  If you have any questions, please e-mail me at

– 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