E-rate Step 4: Online Item 21 Attachments
March 5, 2013
If you have already submitted your Form 471, the next step is to submit the Item 21 attachments to the SLD which tell the PIA reviewers exactly what services you're applying for. The Item 21 attachments are required to be submitted by the March 14 deadline as well, but they have been accepted up to two-weeks after the window close for the last two years (we have no way of knowing if this latitude will be extended again this year). Unlike the Form 470, tech plans and RFPs, vendors ARE permitted to assist applicants with Item 21s. This message contains detailed instructions on how to submit the Item 21 attachments, whether you're submitting them online or via e-mail/fax.
Filing Item 21 Attachments Online
For priority 1 services, I highly recommend that you use the Online Item Attachment system. The advantage to filing online is that it will speed PIA processing because no bills or contracts need to be submitted. The PIA reviewer may ask you for bills or contracts, but that's not their intention.
Here are the basic steps:
1) There is a link to the Online Item 21 system at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp. Click on "Item 21 Attachment" at the bottom of the 471 column. You must have your Form 471 number, your billed entity number AND your Form 471 security code in order to use the Online 21 system. These numbers were provided to you after you completed Block 1 of the Form 471.
2) Next you'll see a list of every FRN on your 471, and a link to "create attachment." Click on 'create attachment.'
3) The next screen will ask you for a general description of the FRN, such as "This FRN consists of local and long distance for our District's 12 buildings." Click 'Continue' to proceed to the next screen, or if you'd like to save your work, exit and return later, click 'Save and exit.'
4) The next screen will ask you for 3 things: Amount of services, # of lines, and which specific service is being requested. For some services, it also will ask you for the speed of the connection.
Amounts: If the amounts are for just one service, there is a small link on the left toolbar (which most people miss) that will populate the data fields exactly from your FRN. If the amounts you list in the Item 21 attachment differ from what you had on your 471, the system will show an error message and ask you if you want to revise your amounts. If you have an FRN that contains several services, you should break out the amount of each service and add lines to show exactly what services you're requesting.
# of Lines: At the top right of the screen is an important item which asks the number of telecom lines on this FRN. If the FRN is for telecom service, the SLD expects you to put in the total number of lines in that box. If you have a single phone number, but 20 extensions, you should list 21 lines.
Service Requested: There is a drop down box that asks you to select exactly what service is being requested. Attached to this message is a list of service choices for both the Telecommunications category and the Internet Access category.
After you've entered all of the appropriate information for the amounts, # of lines (and speed if it's requested), and service requested, click 'Continue.'
5) The next screen will be a text box where it asks if you have any additional information that would be helpful to the PIA reviewer. You may leave this blank, or provide additional information or account numbers if you have more than the one you listed on the Form 471, Block 5.
6) After you click 'Continue' you will be taken back to a summary screen where it gives you the option of 'Submit Item 21 Attachment' (or you can save and exit, or go back and edit your work). If you click "Submit" you will be taken to a screen where it asks if you want to print a copy of your Attachment. Use the Print Detailed Attachment feature.
7) To return to a list of all of your FRNs for that 471, click on the tiny 'FRN Listing' at the top left of the page. The one you just completed will now indicate that the attachment has been submitted. If you saved and exited before submitting, it will indicate that it's "in progress." And then click on the next 'create attachment' until all of your Item 21 attachments have been submitted.
Manual Item 21 Attachment Filing
The other option is to submit your Item 21 attachments via e-mail or fax. Examples of what the SLD requires in terms of manually filed Item 21 attachments can be found at: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/Form471item21Attachments.asp. Even if you file your attachments manually, you do not have to send copies of your contracts or bills. Simply describe the service and the speed or # of lines, just as you would in the Online Item 21 Attachment system.
Although you are permitted to mail your Item 21 attachments, I suggest that they be faxed or e-mailed instead as using the mailing method as it will shave 2-3 weeks off their review time waiting for documents to be scanned in at the Lawrence, Kansas facility.
Send submissions by e-mail to email@example.com. (Do not send submissions other than Form 471 Item 21 Attachments to this e-mail address.) Documents may be sent in most commercially available word processing or spreadsheet formats. Scanned documents may also be sent. (TIF file format is preferred.) Total file size of the e-mail message must be limited to less than 10 Megabytes. If you have more than one Form 471 application, do not combine Item 21 Attachments from multiple Form 471 applications in the same e-mail message.
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Send fax submissions to (973) 599-6511. (Do not send submissions other than Form 471 Item 21 Attachments to this fax number.)
If you have any questions about submitting Item 21 attachments, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 - o
717-730-9060 - f