Please Read: Unofficial Item 21 Attachment Portal Being Marketed

March 3, 2014

As you know, the deadline to file for federal E-rate funding is March 26, 2014. One of the FCC requirements to receiving E-rate funding is the submission of an ‘Item 21 Attachment’ for each Block 5 funding requests where schools and libraries provide USAC (the E-rate administrator) with details related to the specific services they’re requesting. It has come to our attention that an independent company not affiliated with the E-rate administrator called Education Superhighway (ESH) has developed its own private Item 21 Attachment portal and will be sending a mass-e-mail to E-rate applicants encouraging them to use their system instead of the official USAC online system. The ESH portal creates a PDF Item 21 Attachment which applicants would then have to submit via mail, e-mail or fax to USAC where it would be considered a paper Item 21 Attachment.

I, along with the PA Department of Education, would like Pennsylvania schools and libraries to know that ESH is not the E-rate administrator and the ESH Item 21 Attachment private portal is in no way linked to the USAC systems. If applicants choose to use the ESH portal, their Item 21 Attachments will not be transmitted to USAC by ESH and applicants would be required to take an extra step of submitting them separately to USAC. Non-submission of these Attachments to USAC is grounds for funding denial. At the present time, when applicants use the USAC online Item 21 Attachment system, the data is inputted automatically into SLD’s data bases and directly into the Program Integrity Assurance reviewers’ queues. This greatly expedites the review and processing of Form 471 applications for funding.

It is up to each school and library to determine whether to use the ESH private Item 21 Attachment portal. It’s our understanding that you will be receiving marketing e-mails from ESH in the near future and we wanted you to be aware of the limitations of the ESH portal should you choose to use it.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f

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