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E-Rate: HELP!

E-Rate: HELP!

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E-Rate: HELP!

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  1. E-Rate: HELP! Arkansas State Library December 7, 2011

  2. E-Rate: HELP! Amber Gregory Coordinator of E-Rate Services 900 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 682-8576 amber@library.arkansas.gov www.library.arkansas.gov

  3. Arkansas State Library & E-Rate • Arkansas State Library provides E-Rate support in the following ways. • E-Rate Training and Support Amber Gregory, Coordinator of E-Rate Services • Technology Plan Approval Sally Hawkes, Manager of Network Services sally@library.arkansas.gov • Advice and Consultation on Technology Donovan Mays, Coordinator of Technology Support donovan@library.arkansas.gov

  4. Additional E-Rate Support • Arkansas Department of Education • Wilma Toombs Wilma.Toombs@arkansas.gov • Belinda Kittrell Belinda.Kittrell@arkansas.gov • Arkansas Department of Information Systems • Becky Rains becky.rains@arkansas.gov • Arkansas E-Rate Listserv • http://list.state.ar.us/mailman/listinfo/e_rate

  5. What is E-Rate? • E-Rate is a program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allows for schools and libraries to receive discounts on telecommunications and information services. • The discount level is determined by the urban or rural designation and the percentage of students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in the school district in which the library is located. • Discounts range from 20% to 90% of eligible services. • E-Rate is the common name for the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Fund.

  6. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) • E-Rate began with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 • FCC sets rules and policy • E-Rate is funded by the FCC through the Federal Universal Service Fee

  7. Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) • Not-for-profit that administers the fund • Four programs: • Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) • Rural Health Care Program • High Cost Program • Low Income Program • http://www.usac.org/sl/

  8. E-Rate Funds • Each funding year the program was capped at $2.25 Billion until FY 2010. • Starting with FY2010, the fund is adjusted for inflation, making the available funds greater than $2.25 Billion. • Each year a rollover amount is released by the FCC.

  9. USAC Correspondence • USAC sends the applicant a letter each time a form is filed. • FY 2010 Pink • FY 2011 Blue • FY 2012 Canary • Retain all correspondence from USAC. • Sample E-Rate binder labels and outline available from USAC: • http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/2007_training/samples-checklist-E-Rate-table-contents.pdf • http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/2007_training/samples-checklist-E-Rate-binder-dividers.pdf

  10. Document Retention • Keep all letters and E-Rate documentation for 5 years after the last date to receive service for any individual funding year.

  11. Eligible Entities • Libraries & Library Systems • Schools & School Systems • Consortia • Libraries • Schools • Libraries & Schools

  12. Eligible Entities • Library* • Eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under the LSTA act of 1996 • Non-Profit • Budget separate from a school system • *Block 5 Certification on Form 470

  13. Eligible Services • P1 (First Priority) • Telecommunications Services • Internet Access • P2 (Second Priority) • Internal Connections • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections • Each year a new Eligible Services List (ESL) is approved by the FCC. • Use ESL to determine in which category of service to apply. • Use ESL to determine eligible and ineligible services.

  14. Letter of Agency (LOA) • Establishes authority to file an application on behalf of an applicant • May be required by USAC if applicant is part of a consortia or uses the services of a consultant • When would a Letter of Agency be required? • Consultant • Complete (sign & date) LOA before first action taken on your behalf by consultant • Consortia • Complete (sign & date) LOA before date of 471 certification

  15. Time Commitment • 470 – 4 Hours • 471 – 4 Hours • 486 – 1.5 Hours • 472 – 1.5 Hours • Based on Office of Management and Budget calculations

  16. File Online • USAC recommends filling out forms, filing and certifying online. • 90% of applicants file online. • Helps eliminate errors before the application is filed. • Forms can be filled out using interview mode or using “expert” form • Recommended to use “expert form” • Forms can be saved online to complete at a later time.

  17. Entity Numbers • Billed Entity Number (BEN) – Number assigned by USAC to each library or school. • Personal Identification Number (PIN) – Number assigned by USAC to each person filing E-Rate forms. • If more than one person is authorized to fill out forms, each person needs a PIN. • Contact Client Services Bureau to get Entity Number or PIN: (888) 203-8100

  18. FCC Registration Number • An FCC RN is required to file an E-Rate Form 471. • To conduct business with the FCC, an entity must register with the Commission Registration System (CORES).

  19. FCC Registration Number • To search for your FCCRN go to https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do • Click on “Search” to see if your entity has an existing number. • Use the “Advanced Search” feature. • For best results, enter city and zip code. • If the library is part of the city, it may be the city’s FCCRN.

  20. FSCS Code • National Center for Education Statistics • Search for Library FSCS code • http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/librarysearch/ • Needed in Block 4 of Form 471

  21. E-Rate timeline • Develop a Technology Plan • File Form 470 (RFP) • Wait 28 days • Negotiate and sign contract • File Form 471 • Application window stays open 75 days • July 1 - begin receiving service • File Form 486 • 120 days after service begins or after receipt of FCDL, whichever is later. • Invoice USAC

  22. Technology Plan • Starting FY2011, the technology plan will only be required for P2 – Internal Connections. • P1 services will no longer require a technology plan. • USAC warns to be aware of services that appear to be P1 but are moved to P2 upon review of the application (bucket switch). • Refer to “On-premise P1 equipment” in reference section of USAC SLD website. • http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/reference-area.aspx#o

  23. Technology Plan • Four required elements • Goals and Strategies for using technology to improve education or library services • Needs assessment • Staff training • Evaluation plan • Budget: no longer required in the technology plan. • Technology Plan Template covering July 1, 2012-June 30, 2015 will be on ASL website November 9, 2011 • http://www.library.arkansas.gov/Erate/Pages/TechnologyPlans.aspx

  24. Technology Plan • Deadlines • Must be drafted when the Form 470 is filed. • Must be approved by the time services begin or when the 486 is filed, whichever is earlier. • Technology plan must be approved by Sally Hawkes, Arkansas’ USAC certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA). • Current technology plans on file at the Arkansas State Library cover 2009-2012. • Changes can be made to the current technology plans via addendum.

  25. Technology Plan • Questions?

  26. E-Rate timeline • Develop a Technology Plan • File Form 470 (RFP) • Wait 28 days • Negotiate and sign contract • File Form 471 • Application window stays open 75 days • July 1 - begin receiving service • File Form 486 • 120 days after service begins or after receipt of FCDL, whichever is later. • Invoice USAC

  27. Form 470 • Form 470 opens the competitive bidding process. • File yearly for terrified and/or month-to-month services • File once for multi-year contract • Describes the scope of the service & the categories and function of service. • Must be sufficiently detailed • Consistent with the technology plan (if applicable). • USAC sends Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) to applicant summarizing Form 470 after Form 470 is posted. • The service provider cannot file Form 470 for library.

  28. Form 470 & RFPs • Request for Proposals (RFP) are documents that give details about the services desired, location and bid requirements to potential bidders. • RFPs are not required by E-Rate. • Check for local and state requirements on competitive bidding guidelines. • Follow the stricter of the rules – state, local or E-Rate.

  29. Form 470 • Block 2 – Items 8,9,10,11 (Summary Description of Needs or Services Requested) • Request service in any category in which you may file a Form 471 • Example: wireless service can be telecommunications services & internet access • If your Form 471 category of service does not match your Form 470, funding can be denied.

  30. Form 470 • If you are requesting telecommunications services, the service provider must be an eligible telecommunications service provider. • Conduct a SPIN search on the USAC website. • http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/search-tools/ • Print and file the page with E-Rate records.

  31. 470 Receipt Notification Letter • Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) confirms receipt of 470 • Form 470 Application Number as assigned by SLD • Provides date (29th day) when you can sign contract • Confirms receipt status of Block 5 certifications

  32. Form 470 • Questions?

  33. E-Rate timeline • Develop a Technology Plan • File Form 470 (RFP) • Wait 28 days • Negotiate and sign contract • File Form 471 • Application window stays open 75 days • July 1 - begin receiving service • File Form 486 • 120 days after service begins or after receipt of FCDL, whichever is later. • Invoice USAC

  34. Important! • Make sure to wait at least 28 days after posting a Form 470 or an RFP before selecting a vendor, signing a contract or submitting a Form 471(when the application window is open). • Consider how long it will take to: • Conduct the competitive bidding process • Evaluate bids • Negotiate bids • Receive administrative authorization • Execute Contract • Obtain signatures

  35. Competitive Bidding • Bidding process must be fair and open. • Responsibility for bidding process rests on the applicant. • A service provider cannot run the competitive bidding process on behalf of the applicant.

  36. Competitive Bidding • Follow all SLD guidelines as well as State and Local competitive bidding guidelines. • Retain all documents related to the bidding process including successful and non-successful bids and bid evaluation matrix. • All viable bids must be considered.

  37. Bid Evaluation Matrix • Price for eligible services must be the most heavily weighted factor. • As long as price is the most important factor, the other factors can be up to the library. • Examples include: • Past positive experience with vendor • Environmental Objectives • Price for ineligible services • Flexible invoicing (Bear or SPI)

  38. Bid Evaluation Matrix * Sample from USAC website

  39. Competitive Bidding • If the selected vendor cannot perform the service (breach of contract, etc.), the service provider with the second highest score must be selected. • Retain Bid Evaluation Matrix to justify a second choice if this situation arises.

  40. Competitive Bidding • If the library receives no bids… • Send yourself an e-mail stating that no bids were submitted. • Use your current service provider or contract as a bid response. • Contact service providers directly to request a bid. • Use a vendor on the state master contract as a bid response. • http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/procurement/contracts/Pages/default.aspx

  41. Competitive Bidding • If the library receives only 1 bid… • Send yourself an e-mail stating that only 1 bid was submitted. • The bid must still be cost effective. • Use current service provider or contract as a bid response to enter into bid evaluation matrix. • Contact service providers directly to request a bid. • Use a vendor on the state master contract as a bid response.

  42. Competitive Bidding • If the library has an existing contract… • If the contract is not reflected in the Form 470 and Form 471, the service must be rebid on a new Form 470.

  43. E-Rate Gift Rules • Strict rules for accepting gifts from potential E-Rate Service Providers. • Rules apply not just during the application window, but at all times. • Library must be in compliance 6 months prior to filing a Form 470

  44. E-Rate Gift Rules • Gift Rules – Nothing worth over $20 in value may be accepted at any one time from a service provider. • Cannot accept more than $50 in gifts/meals per year from any one service provider, • Applicant is responsible for keeping track of gifts accepted. • Be very careful when accepting gifts/meals. The appearance of impropriety can be as bad as breaking gift rules.

  45. E-Rate Gift Rules • Gifts can include (but are not limited to) • Meals • Snacks at a meeting or conference • Gifts at the holidays • Gifts of appreciation • Door prizes at an event • Tickets to an event

  46. E-Rate Gift Rules • How to remedy a gift rule violation • Reimburse the service provider for the gift • Return the gift • Destroy the gift • If the gift is perishable (food or flowers), place it in a public area of the library or share with all staff members • Donate the gift to charity

  47. Competitive Bidding & Gift Rules • Questions?

  48. Select a Service Provider • Wait 28 days after posting 470/RFP • Evaluate Bids – Bid Evaluation Matrix • Choose Service Provider • Sign a Contract • Submit Form 471 (after the window has opened)

  49. Roles of Service Provider • Respond to 470/RFP • Assist applicant with Item 21 attachment on Form 471 (after contract signed) • Assist with technical questions from PIA • Provide discounted bills or reimbursements • Comply with certifications *Roles from EdTech Strategies, LLC

  50. E-Rate timeline • Develop a Technology Plan • File Form 470 (RFP) • Wait 28 days • Negotiate and sign contract • File Form 471 • Application window stays open 75 days • July 1 - begin receiving service • File Form 486 • 120 days after service begins or after receipt of FCDL, whichever is later. • Invoice USAC