Back-to-School E-rate Update – Sept 2023

September 11, 2023

Attached: FY 2022 BEAR Statuses as of Sept 11 2023

Attached: Missing FY 2023 486s as of Sept 11, 2023

Happy September, E-raters!  I hope everyone had a great summer and your back-to-school transition went smoothly.  This time of year is filled with E-rate activity, as you’re wrapping up FY 2022, implementing FY 2023, and preparing to bid/apply for FY 2024.  Please take a few minutes to review these updates to ensure that your filings are on-track.

  • Coming Soon!  Fall E-rate Training:  In the coming days I’ll be announcing dates for the fall E-rate training for beginners and veterans.   Stay tuned!
  • FCC Commissioner Confirmed:  On Thursday, September 7, Anna Gomez was confirmed as the 5th FCC Commissioner, giving the Commission a full slate for the first time in almost three years.  With this confirmation, there are several E-rate-related initiatives that may be considered in the next few months, including E-rate eligibility of school bus Wi-Fi and off-campus hotspot lending, and a 3-year pilot program for cybersecurity (administered by USAC but outside of E-rate).  I’ll keep you posted if these receive traction at the FCC.
  • Reminder to File FY 2022 BEARs:  The deadline to file FY 2022 BEARs for recurring services is October 30, 2023 (the normal October 28 deadline falls on a Saturday).  For a status list of FY 2022 FRNs showing what’s required (if anything) as of September 11, 2023, see attached.  Also, USAC has delayed the migration of the Form 472 BEAR into the EPC platform (instead of it’s own separate module) until after the October 30, 2023 invoicing deadline.  I’ll let you know when the official launch date will be, but I expect it to be in November.  A For 472 BEAR Filing Guide is available at:  For recurring services, don’t forget to list 7/1/2022 as the service start date (not 2023) in Item 10 and leave Item 11 blank.  Also, be sure to use your FY 2022 Form 471 and FRN numbers as shown in the attached spreadsheet, not FY 2023.
  • Reminder to File FY 2023 Form 486s:  If you have received your FY 2023 FCDL and have not yet filed the Form 486, don’t forget this important step.  Although the deadline to submit is October 30 for most FRNs, you won’t be able to submit a BEAR or receive discounted bills until the 486 is submitted.  Attached is a list of all approved FY 2023 FRNs that do not yet have their Form 486 filed.  Full instructions on the Form 486 can be found at:
  • Need an Extension for FY 2022 or FY 2021 Equipment Installation?  September 30, 2023 is the deadline to receive and install your FY 2022 and FY 2021 equipment.  If you cannot have the equipment installed by this date, you should submit a Form 500 in EPC now to receive a 1-year extension (through Sept 30, 2024).  Important:  All requests must be made before the September 30, 2023 deadline.  For FY 2021 equipment not yet installed:  the FCC granted a 1-year extension for all FY 2021 internal connections requests (from September 2022 – September 2023) due to supply chain delays.  If you need an additional year to install FY 2021 equipment, submit a Form 500 in EPC by September 30, 2023 to seek an additional 1-year extension.
  • Reminders for Purchasing FY 2023 Category 2 Equipment: When purchasing Category 2 equipment/services using FY 2023 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, 2023, even if you purchased the equipment between April 1 – June 30, 2023.  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:
  • Documents Required for E-rate Audit:  If you’ve ever wondered what documents an E-rate auditor requests when you’re selected for an audit, you can now see a list at:  This list is currently what’s being collected/reviewed and is subject to change.  Often these documents are stored in different departments within a school or library, so it’s important that everyone who has responsibility for these items understand that they must be retained (physically or electronically) for 10 years from the last date to receive service (essentially 11 years).  For example, if you have a 5-year contract, you are required to keep all of the bidding documents for 16 years, including winning and losing bids, vendor correspondence, bid evaluation worksheet, etc.
  • 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.
  • Important PEPPM Reminder:  If you will be using the PA PEPPM Contract as the bidding vehicle for your FY 2024 procurements, ALWAYS download and use the most recent version of the PEPPM Category/Awarded Vendor List when sending PEPPM mini-bids.  The Category/Awarded Vendor List is Attachment C on the PEPPM page: and is a live document.  Additional product lines are added and contact information changes for vendors, so it’s important that you always use the most recent version.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact 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