E-rate Update: Form 470, Rural Definition, BEAR Extensions, Trainings

November 14, 2014

Hello, E-raters! Below is an update related to several important areas of the new E-rate program.

Form 470 Available for Filing Now – There will be a new Form 470 for FY 2015, but because it’s not yet available, USAC wants applicants to use the currently-available Form 470 even though it says Funding Year 2014. Important: When you reach Item 13, indicate in this text box that this Form 470 is for FY 2015 requests. Also, if you file using the currently-available Form 470, certify the form immediately because as soon as the new form is approved, USAC won’t be able to accept any old certifications. Please file your Form 470 before you leave for Thanksgiving and get your 28-day clock ticking!

Rural/Urban Designations Update – As you know, the new rules say that schools/libraries located in Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters (as defined by the 2010 census), will be deemed urban. While there is no disagreement that Urbanized Areas (census tracts with populations of 50,000 or more) should be considered Urban, there is nationwide agreement that Urban Clusters (census tracts with populations between 2,500 – 50,000) should NOT be included in the Urban designation as these are mostly small towns in rural areas. We have worked hard over the last 6 weeks to convince the FCC that Urban Clusters with populations below 25,000 should be deemed rural and we are VERY optimistic that they will change this rule at their December 11 meeting. In the meantime, a list of PA’s Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters (along with population data) are available on the PA E-rate website at: http://e-ratepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/List-of-PA-Urbanized-Area-and-Urban-Cluster-Census-Tracts.xlsx. When the new definition is adopted, USAC will release an Urban/Rural look-up tool that will tell you exactly what your schools’ designations are.
FY 2013 BEAR Deadline Extension Approvals – I know many of you submitted FY 2013 BEAR extension requests to USAC and are curious to know when those approval will be received. Based on previous years, the approvals are e-mailed to the applicant about 3 weeks after they were submitted. After you receive that message, you will have 120 days to submit the BEAR. Unsure whether the approval was already granted? You can always check the USAC Deadline Extension List at: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/utilities/FRN_CurFundExt.asp.
Upcoming E-rate Trainings – A 1.5-hour training webinar will be presented on Wednesday, November 19 from 1:00 – 2:30 to provide returning (veteran) Pennsylvania applicants with important changes to the federal E-rate program for FY 2015. Registration is not required, but applicants are required to list their name AND school/library entity upon entering the webinar. Live questions will be taken during this webinar. To join this webinar, go to http://vclass.cciu.org and click on the “E-rate Update for PA Veterans” link under the Meeting Name Column. Use your First and Last Name AND your school/library name as your Login Name and click “Log In” – (there is no password for this session). You will automatically be taken to the webinar presentation. Several other topic-specific webinars will be scheduled in the coming weeks as the new Form 471 is released and additional information becomes available

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jtschell@comcast.net.

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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