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E-Rate Training. Arkansas State Library November 9-10, 2010. E-Rate Overview. 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. Arkansas State Library & E-Rate.

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E rate training

E-Rate Training

Arkansas State Library

November 9-10, 2010

E rate overview
E-Rate Overview

Amber Gregory

Coordinator of E-Rate Services

900 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 100

Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 682-8576



Arkansas state library e rate
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

    • Advice and Consultation on Technology

      Donovan Mays, Coordinator of Technology Support

What is e rate
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 technology.

  • The discount level is determined by the urban/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.

Federal communications commission fcc
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

Universal service administrative company usac
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/

E rate funds
E-Rate Funds

  • Each funding year the program is capped at $2.25 Billion.

  • Starting with FY2010, the fund is adjusted for inflation, making the commitment $2.27 Billion.

  • Each year a rollover amount is released by the FCC

    • FY2009 $900 million

Usac correspondence
USAC Correspondence

  • USAC sends the applicant a letter each time a form is filed.

    • FY 2008 Blue

    • FY 2009 Canary

    • FY 2010 Pink

  • 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

Usac correspondence1
USAC Correspondence

  • Keep all letters and E-Rate documents for 5 years after the last service is provided for any individual funding year.

Eligible entities
Eligible Entities

  • Libraries & Library Systems

  • Schools & School Systems

  • Consortia

    • Libraries

    • Schools

    • Libraries & Schools

Eligible entities1
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

Eligible services
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.

Letter of agency loa
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

Time commitment
Time Commitment

  • 470 – 4 Hours

  • 471 – 4 Hours

  • 486 – 1.5 Hours

  • 472 – 1.5 Hours

    • Based on Office of Management and Budget calculations

File online
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 manually.

  • Forms can be saved online to complete at a later time.

E rate timeline
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.

  • File Form 472 (BEAR)

Technology plan
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 plan1
Technology Plan

  • Deadlines

    • 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.

Technology plan2
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

Form 470
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.

  • 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.

Form 4701
Form 470

  • Billed Entity Number (BEN) – Number assigned by USAC to each library.

  • 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 BEN or PIN: (888) 203-8100

Form 470 rfps
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.

Form 4702
Form 470

  • Block 2 – Item 7

  • Select all that may apply: tariffed, month-to-month or contracted services in order to get the best bid response.

  • Select multi-year contracts and voluntary extensions. If this option is not selected, you will not be able to enter into a multi-year contract or a voluntary extension without submitting a new 470 the following funding year.

Form 4703
Form 470

  • Block 2 – Items 8,9,10,11

  • Request service in any category in which you may file a Form 471

    • Example: telecommunications services & internet access

  • If your Form 471 category of service does not match your Form 470, funding can be denied.

Form 4704
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.

    • Print and file the page with E-Rate records.

Form 470 tips
Form 470 – Tips

  • RFP Development and Contract Execution

    • Consider requiring that vendor must have a SPIN as condition of bid award

    • Consider requiring that vendor must have filed a Service Provider Annual Certification Form

    • Consider requiring documentation as a condition of bid award that vendor is an eligible telecommunications service provider if you are requesting telecommunications services

    • Consider requiring the method of payment in the contract (BEAR/SPI)

*Tips from EdTech Strategies, LLC

470 receipt notification letter
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


  • 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

Competitive bidding
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.

Bid evaluation matrix
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)

Bid evaluation matrix1
Bid Evaluation Matrix

* Sample from USAC website

Competitive bidding1
Competitive Bidding

  • FY 2011- Stricter rules for competitive bidding and gifts

    • Rules apply not just during the application window, but at all times.

    • 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.

    • Be very careful when accepting gifts/meals. E-Rate funding could be at stake.

Service providers
Service Providers

  • Arkansas Vendor information on ASL website

    • Public Library Services

      • Vendors & Purchasing

  • List is not an endorsement of the vendors, but a list of possible service providers

  • We will continue to update the website with current vendor information

Roles of service provider
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

Select a service provider
Select a Service Provider

  • Wait 28 days after posting 470/RFP

  • Evaluate Bids

  • Choose Service Provider

  • Sign a Contract

  • Submit Form 471 (after the window has opened)

Form 471
Form 471

  • Form 471 provides more detail about:

    • Entity requesting discount

    • Service provider

    • Eligible Services applied for

    • Discount calculation information

  • Certifies compliance with program rules

Determine discount
Determine Discount

  • The discount amount is based on two factors:

    • Number of students in the school district in which the library is located who are eligible for National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

      • Information available on Arkansas Department of Education website: http://arkansased.org/programs/tech_resources/erate.html

      • Also available on Arkansas State Library website

    • Rural or Urban designation

      • Based on Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) data

      • Designation can be found at USAC website

      • http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/urban-rural/default.aspx

Determine discount1
Determine Discount

  • Calculate the discount based on NSLP.

  • Total number of students in the school district where library is located.

  • Determine number of students eligible for NSLP.

  • Divide the number of students eligible for NSLP by the total number of students to arrive at the percentage.

  • Locate discount in discount matrix.

  • Designation needed for application process.

Determine discount2
Determine Discount

*Spreadsheet from Arkansas Department of Education website

Determine discount3
Determine Discount

*Table from USAC website

Form 471 application window
Form 471 Application Window

  • Usually opens in early November

  • FY 2011 – Expect window to open early January (close mid-March)

  • Open 75 days

  • Application window applies only to Form 471. Form 470 can be posted before window opens.

Form 471 acronyms
Form 471- Acronyms

  • Funding Request Number (FRN) – Number assigned to Form 471 Block 5 funding request

  • Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) – Identification number given to a service provider by USAC

    • SPIN contact search available on USAC website

    • Service Providers may have more than one SPIN

    • Contact Service Provider to clarify

  • Item 21 Attachment – Details the services requested in funding application

    • Service Provider can provide clarification and details for Item 21 Attachment.

Form 471 acronyms1
Form 471- Acronyms

  • Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) – Sent to applicant and service provider by USAC summarizing form 471

    • Contains FRN, SPINs, Service Provider names, Category of Service, Pre-Discount amount requested, discount percentage

    • Clerical corrections can be made to 471entries via RAL no later than 20 days after date of RAL

  • Non-Instructional Facility (NIF)

    • Eligible for P1 service

    • Eligible for P2 service if necessary to provide transport to public areas of library

Cost allocation
Cost Allocation

  • Applicants are required to cost allocate out ineligible services from eligible services on the Form 471.

  • If an ineligible service must be cost allocated out, the corresponding service and installation must be as well.

  • Document and retain files associated with cost allocation process

  • Cost allocation must be “based on tangible criteria that provide a realistic result”. - USAC

    • USAC makes this determination

Cost allocation1
Cost Allocation

  • Examples of Cost Allocation

    • A bundled service with individualized prices for services

    • Use the simple average of the eligible services performed by a component if it performs both eligible and ineligible functions.

    • If a bundle of eligible & ineligible services/products receives a discount, the discount must be cost allocated across both eligible & ineligible services

    • Other examples of cost allocation can be found at USAC website

Form 4711
Form 471

  • Reminders…

  • File Priority 1 (P1) and Priority 2 (P2) services on separate 471 forms.

  • Applicant must be able to pay for the non-discounted portion of the service.

  • File Item 21 attachment when Form 471 is filed.

Priority two funding
Priority Two Funding

  • 2 in 5 Rule

  • Library may not receive funding on P2 (internal connections) more than two out of every five years.

  • This does not apply to basic maintenance of internal connections.

Review and funding commitments
Review and Funding Commitments

  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) – begins reviewing applications when 471 and Item 21 attachment are submitted.

    • Makes funding decisions

  • Checks for program compliance

    • Eligible Entity

    • Eligible Purpose

    • Eligible Services

    • Eligible Sites/Locations

Pia review
PIA Review

  • USAC checks to make sure application properly completed

    • Competitive Bidding Process

    • Discount Calculation

    • Contracts

    • Sufficient Budget

    • Certifications

    • Form 470

    • Technology Plan

    • Letters of Agency

Pia review1
PIA Review

  • Applicant’s Role in PIA Review

    • Have documents ready and organized

    • Respond with required information within the specified time frame

      • Review Selective Review Information Request (SRIR) found in SLD reference area

    • Document the communication in writing

    • Document the call and response

    • If more time is needed, ask SLD

      • Receive confirmation, Document that extra time is granted

Funding commitment decision letter fcdl
Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL)

  • Informs applicant of status of funding requests

    • Funded

      • Completely

      • In Part

    • Not Funded

    • As Yet Unfunded (Internal Connections)

    • Canceled

  • There may be multiple FCDLs for a Form 471

  • FCDL synopsis used to prepare Form 486

Funding denials
Funding Denials

  • Common Reasons for Funding Denials

    • Ineligible entities

    • Ineligible services or products

    • Insufficient support resources

    • Insufficient documentation

    • Form 470 not certified

    • Did not wait 28 days after 470 (RFP) posted

Funding denials1
Funding Denials

  • Other Reasons a Funding Request may be denied

    • Ineligible Telecommunications Provider

    • Ineligible use

    • Did not file Form 470

    • Services were not requested on Form 470

    • Competitive Bidding Violations

    • No Letter of Agency

    • Tech plan not prepared before Form 470 is posted (P2 services)

Avoid funding denials
Avoid Funding Denials

  • Meet the certifications

  • Work with the PIA inquiries

  • Separate out services to avoid including eligible and ineligible services together

  • File and Certify online

    • Potential mistakes can be avoided

    • Guarantees that the application is submitted in the application window

  • Document, Document, Document!

    • Retain all paperwork & correspondence with USAC

Form 486
Form 486

  • File no later than 120 days after start of service or FCDL, whichever is later

  • Purpose

    • Let USAC know that eligible service has begun

      • Invoices can be processed and paid

    • Provide the name of the Technology Plan Approver who approved the technology plan

    • Report CIPA status

  • USAC will send a Form 486 Notification Letter to applicant and service provider after Form 486 has been processed.

Before invoicing usac
Before Invoicing USAC

  • Both Applicant and Service Provider receive FCDL for services to be invoiced

  • Applicant must file from 486

  • Applicant receives Form 486 Notification Letter from USAC

  • Service Providers must file Form 473

    • Filed by Service Provider after USAC announces the opening of the application filing window

    • Check with Service Provider about Form 473 filing

Invoicing usac
Invoicing USAC

  • BEAR vs. SPI – Applicants can choose between two ways to invoice USAC

  • Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR)

    • Applicant pays for services in full

    • Applicant files Form 472

    • Service Provider approves Form 472

  • Service Provider Invoice (SPI)

    • Applicant is billed for non-discount portion of eligible services.

    • Service Provider files Form 474 for reimbursement on discounted portion of bill,

Service provider invoice spi
Service Provider Invoice (SPI)

  • If applicant prefers SPI

    • list this preference in the RFP

    • Add it as a qualification ranked in the bid evaluation matrix

      • Applicant should double check invoice to ensure that they are receiving SPI discounts


  • Applicants can appeal decisions made by USAC

  • 1st – Appeal to USAC

  • 2nd – Appeal to FCC

  • Appeals should be postmarked no later than 60 days after the date of USAC’s decision letter

Cipa e rate
CIPA & E-Rate

  • Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

    • Signed into law December 21, 2000

  • Library must be CIPA compliant or “undertaking actions” to become CIPA compliant in order to receive E-Rate discounts

    • Exception: Telecommunication Services only

Cipa e rate1
CIPA & E-Rate

  • Filtering is not required of public libraries according to Arkansas law

    • Required for E-Rate

  • CIPA Compliance

    • Technology Protection Measure

    • Internet Safety Policy

    • Public Notice & Hearing

Cipa certifications
CIPA Certifications

  • Billed Entity will certify on Form 486 that the applicant is CIPA compliant

  • If an Administrative Agency certifies that the Billed Entity is CIPA compliant..

    • Form 479 must be filled out by Administrative Agency

    • Submit Form 479 to Billed Entity before Form 486 is filed

Where to find help
Where To Find Help

  • USAC Client Service Bureau

    • Phone: 888-203-8100

    • Fax: 888-873-4665

    • Website: http://www.usac.org/sl/

      • Use Submit a Question link to e-mail questions

  • Amber Gregory, Coordinator of E-Rate Services

    • Phone: 501-682-8576

    • Fax: 501-682-1693

    • e-mail: amber@library.arkansas.gov

    • Website: www.library.arkansas.gov