May 2023 School’s Out! E-rate Update

May 31, 2023

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

Upcoming Changes:

  • E-rate BEAR to be Migrated into EPC:  USAC has announced they will be consolidating its E-Rate legacy forms (applicant Form 472 BEAR, vendor SPAC Form 473 and vendor SPI Form 474) into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC).  Currently, for applicants, the Form 472 BEAR is within the password-protected One Portal System, but is a separate option when logging in.  An exact date hasn’t been given for the cut-over, but it is expected by be near the end of June.   When this occurs, USAC will pause invoice submissions in the SL Legacy systems to ensure a successful transition.  When the transition date is established, USAC will announce the last day you can submit an invoice using the SL Legacy systems and the date when you must begin submitting invoices in EPC. I will provide more information and screenshots when they are available, but for now, you can learn more about the migration at:

Funding Year 2023:

  • Status of FY 2023 Funding Commitments:  As of May 30, 68% of PA funding requests have been decided.  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 PIA review process or where to find the PIA reviewer’s questions, please see:  If you need assistance with responding to a PIA inquiry, please e-mail me.
  • Remember to File Your FY 2023 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:  I’ll send out a 486 reminder in a few months with the list of applicants that haven’t yet filed.
  • 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:
  • Reminder if You Want Discounted Bills:  Be sure to tell your vendors if you want to receive discounted bills where the vendor then seeks reimbursement.  If you prefer to pay your vendor invoices in full and then submit the Form 472 BEAR to seek reimbursement, that’s your option, but you must stick with one invoicing method or the other for the entire funding year for each FRN.
  • BEAR Reimbursement Filings:  Starting July 1, 2023, applicants can begin to submit BEARs for FY 2023 equipment purchases that were made on or after April 1, 2023.  This is also about the time when applicants who did not receive discounted vendor bills for FY 2022 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.  See also: BEAR Migration update.

Funding Year 2022:

  • Supply Chain Delays:  I’ve heard from several school officials who are concerned they will not be able to meet the September 30, 2023 deadline to install their approved FY 2022 equipment due to vendor supply chain delays.  If you are in this situation, submit a Form 500 in EPC to seek a 1-year extension (through September 30, 2024).  All requests must be made before the September 30, 2023 deadline.  As you know, the FCC already granted a 1-year extension for all FY 2021 internal connections requests (from September 2022 – September 2023) due to supply chain delays.  If you are still experiencing supply chain delays for FY 2021 equipment as well, you also can request another 1-year extension as long as the request is submitted by September 30, 2023.

 General Updates/Reminders:

  • 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 and offer what you’d like to see become E-rate eligible in future funding years.  The survey is available at: and will close soon.  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.
  • UEI – Requirement Reminder:  If you haven’t taken action to ensure your organization has a UEI number and are registered in, I urge you to begin this process now.  More information 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 E-rate forms as soon as they’re due.  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).  For a complete guide on how to add/remove EPC users, or change AAs, see: Also, if you need any new E-rate contacts added to the PA E-rate Listserve, please e-mail me their contact information.

Julie Tritt Schell

Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

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