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E-Rate Overview. Minnesota Fall 2013 Applicant Trainings Mary Mehsikomer. E-rate Program. Commitments are made by funding year (FY), which runs from July 1 through the following June 30.

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E-Rate Overview

Minnesota Fall 2013 Applicant Trainings

Mary Mehsikomer

E-rate Program

Commitments are made by funding year (FY), which runs from July 1 through the following June 30.
  • USAC refers to the funding year as the year in which most services will begin, e.g., FY2013 is July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
  • Minnesota Fiscal Year FY2013 would be July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013.
  • Timeline
  • General Information
The FCC capped program funding at $2.25 billion per year, until 2010 when the FCC began to adjust the cap annually for inflation
  • Once a year, the FCC is required to roll over all funds that are collected and are unused from prior funding years to the next full funding year
  • Budget
  • General Information
Who is eligible for funding?
    • Elementary and secondary schools and school districts
      • Non-traditional facilities (conditionally by state)
    • Libraries and library systems
    • Consortia – groups of eligible entities that band together to aggregate demand and negotiate lower prices
  • Eligibility
  • General Information
How large are the discounts on eligible products and services?
    • Discounts are 20-90 percent of eligible costs.
    • Discount level for a school or library depends on:
      • Percentage of students who are eligible for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in
        • (for a school) the school
        • (for a library) the school district in which the library is located.
      • Urban or rural location of the school or library.
  • Discounts
  • General Information
Discount Matrix
  • General Information
Priority 1 (P1): funded first
    • Telecommunications Services
    • Internet Access
    • Telecommunications
  • Priority 2 (P2): funded second and starts with neediest applicants
    • Internal Connections
    • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
  • Categories of Service
  • General Information
  • General Information

Each time applicants file a program form, USAC sends you a notification or acknowledgement letter.

  • Letters are color-coded by funding year
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
  • Note: When storing documents, USAC encourages you to separate your program forms and letters by funding year to better organize them.




Introduction to E-rate

Technology Planning

A technology plan must contain the following 4 elements:
    • Goals and strategies for using technology to improve education or library services
    • Needs assessment
    • Staff training
    • Evaluation plan
  • Technology plans must be approved by a USAC-certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA).
  • Technology Plans (P2 Services Only)
  • Technology Planning
In Minnesota, the state Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid program requires a technology plan be on file with the Minnesota Department of Education.
  • Minnesota Statutes 125B.26
  • Criteria on MDE Website
  • MDE Program Finance does check for tech plans
  • Minnesota
  • Technology Planning
Update Technology Plan
  • Form 470 – File anytime after July 1
    • Must be posted for 28 days or longer
  • Form 471 – File within window
    • January 9, 2014 – March 26, 2014
  • Program Integrity Assurance Review (PIA)
  • Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL)
  • Steps and Deadlines
  • E-Rate Process Start to Finish
Form 486
    • 120 days after FDCL or Service Start Date (whichever is LATER)
  • File for Reimbursement (BEAR) or receive discounts directly from provider (SPI)
    • BEARS are due 120 days after the last date of service
    • Recommend quarterly filing
  • File Form 500 for commitment amount changes
  • Steps and Deadlines (Continued)
  • E-Rate Process from Start to Finish
File for Reimbursement (BEAR) or receive discounts directly from provider (SPI)
    • BEARS are due 120 days after the last date of service
    • Recommend quarterly filing
  • File Form 500 for commitment amount changes
  • Steps and Deadlines (Continued)
  • E-Rate Process Start to Finish
Opens your competitive bidding process
  • Notifies potential bidders of the types and quantities of services that you need
  • Must be posted on the USAC website at least 28 days before filing the FCC Form 471

Note: Request for Proposals (RFPs) or other supplemental documents may be issued in addition to describe specific needs and circumstances. If you issue an RFP (or provide supplemental documents), both the RFP/supplemental documents and FCC Form 470 must be available for at least 28 days, and bidding cannot close until the latter of the two end dates.

  • FCC Form 470 Purpose
  • Requesting Services
No one other than the applicant or an authorized representative of the applicant should prepare, sign or submit the FCC Form 470 or certification.
  • The FCC Form 470 must describe the desired products and services with sufficient specificity to enable interested parties to submit bid responses.
  • All potential bidders must have access to your FCC Form 470, RFP (or other supplemental documents describing the procurement, if you have them).
  • You must evaluate the incoming bids fairly and equally.
  • Competitive Bidding Requirements
  • Competitive Bidding
RFPs are not required for E-rate
  • Minnesota requires school districts to do formal competitive bidding for any purchase over $100,000
  • State and local procurement policies must be followed
  • See Minnesota Statutes 471.345
  • Check with your Business Manager
  • Minnesota
  • Competitive Bidding
Competitive Bidding

The price of the eligible products and services must be the most heavily weighted factor in your evaluation of bids

  • Sample Matrix
After the 28-day waiting period closes, you can:
  • Evaluate bids received
  • Choose your service provider(s)
  • Sign a contract (if applicable)
  • Submit an FCC Form 471.
  • Competitive Bidding Process
  • Competitive Bidding
Identifies the service providers and eligible services you have chosen on funding requests
  • Identifies the eligible schools and libraries that will receive services
  • Calculates how much support you seek for the funding year using your discount calculation information
  • FCC Form 471 Purpose
  • Ordering Services
Notifies USAC that your eligible services have started or been delivered and invoices for those services can be processed and paid
  • Provides the name of the TPA that approved your technology plan (if applicable)
  • Reports your status of compliance with Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)—a law with specific requirements on Internet safety policies.
  • FCC Form 486 Purpose
  • Begin Receiving Services
Applicants and service providers receive an FCDL from USAC for the services being invoiced.
  • Applicants must file an FCC Form 486 and receive an FCC Form 486 Notification Letter.
  • Service providers must file a Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) FCC Form 473 each funding year.
  • Requirements Before Invoicing USAC
  • Invoicing USAC
Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) FCC Form 472: filed by applicant after services have been paid in full OR
  • Service Provider Invoice (SPI) FCC Form 474: filed by service provider after the applicant has been billed for the non-discount portion of eligible services.

Note: Applicants can choose their method of invoicing; service providers cannot force applicants to use a particular method.

  • Two Methods of Invoicing
  • Invoicing USAC
Consolidated telecommunications and Internet access services into one field for Priority One services in Block 2
  • Clarifying text in Block 2 regarding Request For Proposal (RFP) services
  • Additional text in the certification regarding document retention in Block 5 – certifies you will keep documentation at least five years
  • Form 470
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
Removed Block 2 – Impact of Services on schools and libraries
  • Request for additional information regarding broadband connectivity on an FRN level
  • Additional text in the certification regarding document retention in Block 6
  • Form 471
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
Additional Block 5 reporting requirements:
  • For Broadband and other connectivity services only
    • T-1, fiber, DSL, cable, cellular wireless hotspots, satellite
  • Does not apply to non-broadband or other connectivity services
    • Cellular service, web hosting and email service
  • Complete information for every applicable funding request
  • Form 471
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
Wireless questions – percentage of rooms with access

Item 25 c - For consortia and statewide applications, do the connections in this FRN include the last mile connection to the school or library? Yes No

  • If no, are these connections only for backbone connections? Yes No
  • Documentation certification – certifies you keep documentation for at least five years
  • Form 471
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
Document retention certification updated (at least five years)
  • Item 6e, CIPA Waiver for Libraries in FY2004, consolidated with Item 6d, the general checkbox for CIPA waivers
  • Minor text edits
  • Form 479 – CIPA Certification - Consortia
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
Name changed to Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children’s Internet Protection Act and Technology Plan Certification Form
  • Item 6C, CIPA Waiver for Libraries in FY2004, consolidated with Item 6B, the general checkbox for CIPA waivers
  • Item 8, technology plan certification, updated
  • Item 10, document retention certification updated
  • Minor text edits
  • Form 486
  • Changes for Fund Year 2014
Text added to Item 6B to inform libraries that need to make this waiver request to do so using the CIPA waiver in Item 6B
  • References to FCC Form 479 Item 6e (CIPA waiver for libraries in FY2004) removed from FCC Form 486 Item 11f and 11g CIPA certifications
  • Document retention period updated to provide flexibility in the event the documentation retention period is changed in the FCC rules
  • Minor text edits – adding FCC before form names
  • Form 486 – Continued
  • Changes for Funding Year 2014
changes for funding year 2014
Form 500

Name changed to Funding Commitment Adjustment Request Form

Blocks added for:

Services adjustment – service start date, contract expiration date, and service delivery extension requests

FRN cancellation or reduction

Equipment transfer notifications

Document retention certification updated

Changes for Funding Year 2014
changes for funding year 20141
Block 2: Services Adjustment

Request service delivery extension

NOTE: Applicants – not service providers – must request this extension (see Report and Order FCC 01-195 and 47 C.F.R. Section 54.507)

Changes for Funding Year 2014
changes for funding year 20142
Changes for Funding Year 2014

Form 472 (BEAR)

  • “Reimbursement Form Number” moved to top and renamed “Applicant Form Identifier”
  • “Reimbursement Date to USAC” moved to Block 3
  • Discount column added to Block 2
  • Some form items renumbered due to the above changes
  • Extraneous or confusing text removed
  • Certification language added (perjury)
e rate website
E-Rate Website
  • Use tools on SLD website to find information
    • Billed Entity Numbers
    • Data on your applications
    • Form 471 and Form 470 numbers
    • Funding Commitment Status
    • Online copies of Form 470 and Form 471
    • More
Phone: (888) 203-8100

Fax: (888) 276-8736

In Minnesota, you can also contact Mary Mehsikomer at or by 651-999-6510 or your regional telecommunications access coordinator

  • With questions, please contact USAC
  • Contacts