Most Frequently Asked Questions (from last 2 weeks)
March 6, 2013
Don't wait until next week - File now!
As of last night, 622 PA schools and libraries have submitted Form 471s -- which is almost exactly half of the PA schools and libraries that ultimately will file this year. PLEASE DON'T WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO FILE YOUR FORM 471 if your Form 470 28-day waiting period has passed and your vendors have been selected/contracts signed. I've already noticed the Form 471 website is slowing down and you don't want to be faced with a system crash or unbearably slow screen functions this year.
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions of the last few weeks. Please review them quickly, even if you are an E-rate veteran.
1) If I have a multi-year contract that was approved by E-rate last year, do I need to submit a funding request again this year?
Yes. You must submit a funding request each year, for every service, even if your services are under a multi-year contract! (There's no such thing as a multi-year E-rate commitment).
2) Can I submit my application online even if I don't have a PIN?
YES! Everyone should submit their 471 online. After you hit submit, the system will ask you if you want to paper certify or eCertify. If you don't have a PIN, then you'll just have to print a copy of the certification page and mail it to the SLD (by March 14).
3) Can I sign a multi-year contract longer than 3 years?
Yes. E-rate rules do not limit an applicant on the length of a contract.
4) Can I sign the contract after I submit the Form 471?
No. The contract must be signed before you submit the Form 471. Therefore if you need board approve prior to signing contracts, that board approval must come before you submit your Form 471.
5) How can I obtain and E-rate entity number for a new school building?
Call USAC's Client Services Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100.
6) Where do I find my FCCRN Number?
This is a unique number given to each Billed Entity by the FCC in 2004. For most entities, the FCCRN will pre-populate into your Form 471 when you file online. If it does not, you can research your FCCRN at: https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/coresWeb/simpleSearch.do;jsessionid=
N1ZGn6wXJjjwSF4GjN1LdxrF0JT8s63g1vBpCvgSyQbM8s04jmQ2!616666834!-1277790077 using your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or School/Library Name (use first word, followed by %).
7) How do I find an NCES code?
Although the Block 4 section of the Form 471 will give you a pop-up box telling you that the NCES code is missing, please know that the NCES code IS NOT A REQUIRED FIELD and you may leave this item blank. Further, there are NO NCES codes for Administrative Buildings. But if you would like to look up your NCES code, go to: http://nces..ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/.
8) What do I do if I submitted my 471 early but noticed that my enrollment/NSLP data doesn't match the PDE data?
If you submitted your Form 471 before the PDE NSLP data was released and you now see that your Block 4 data is different than the PDE data, don't worry. If you have documentation to substantiate your higher figures, then just be prepared to show that during PIA review. If you would like to change your figures to match the PDE data, you may do so during the RAL correction process or during PIA review. If your figures don't match the PDE data, but it doesn't change the building's E-rate discount, there is no reason to have to change the data.
9) I have a bill that contains both telecom and Internet (data) services; do I have to put them on 2 separate FRNs?
No. If you have a bill or contract that contains both telecom and Internet (data) services, you may combine those services on a single funding request under the Telecom Category for administrative convenience. However, you will need to break out those services on your Item 21 attachments to show exactly what services you're receiving (such as 20 cellular voice lines and 10 cellular voice and data plans).
10) Am I required to submit a new Form 471 for each funding request?
No! You can put all of your Priority 1 funding requests on a single Form 471 by just clicking on the "Add New Funding Request" at the bottom of Block 5. The only time you must file separate 471s if for Priority 1 and Priority 2. And if you're applying for different discount levels in Priority 2, then file those on separate 471s as well.
11) I have a multi-year contract; what Form 470 Number to Use in my Block 5?
If you have a multi-year contract for an eligible service, and that contract was signed in a previous funding year (after posting a 470 and waiting at least 28 days), you should list the original 470 number that was used to competitively bid that service. The contract award date will be the date your originally signed the contract.
12) Is it possible to amend a 471 after it's been submitted?
You cannot amend a 471 after it's been submitted, but you can make corrections to it using the RAL (Receipt Acknowledgement Letter) which will be mailed to you after you submit your 471. Simply mark what should be corrected to your application, and fax it back to the SLD. If you made major mistakes to your submitted 471, simply complete a new 471 by March 14 and then cancel the original one when the RAL comes. The RAL Fax number is 973-599-6526.
13) Are the Item 21 attachments required to be submitted by Form 471 deadline (March 14) window this year?
Yes, but we expect that applicants that forget to file the Item 21 attachments will be sent a letter by USAC and will be given an extra few days to submit their Item 21s.
Have others? Just e-mail me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 - o
717-730-9060 - f