Archive for December 2013

SLD News – 12/20/13 – Focus: “PQA Requests for Info” and “Winter Contact Period”

December 20, 2013

TIP OF THE WEEK: If your PIA reviewer made a successful contact before today (see below), your 15-day response clock has started. Be sure to check your preferred mode of contact – telephone, fax, or email – for communications from USAC so that you can respond appropriately.

Please note that USAC will not issue a News Brief next Friday, December 27. Also, the Client Service Bureau will be closed Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013, 2012, and 2011

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 32 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 27. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of December 20, FY2013 commitments total over $1.58 billion and encompass 32,963 of FY2013 applications.

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 73 FCDLs December 30. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of December 20, FY2012 commitments total over $2.81 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 106 FCDLs December 20. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88 percent and above and denials at 87 percent and below. As of December 20, FY2011 commitments total just under $2.66 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

PQA Requests for Information Arriving in January

The 2014 Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) assessment program will begin in January 2014. PQA is a program that assesses E-rate payments made during the current year to verify that they were properly made – in other words, that all program rules were followed correctly when the payment was authorized and disbursed.

Emails notifying applicants whose payments have been selected for PQA will be sent from the domain name usac.i-sight.com. Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive an email from USAC’s PQA Program. This will help expedite your review.

  • Do not hesitate to contact your reviewer if you have questions. Contact information is provided in the email.
  • Also, contact your PQA reviewer if you are unable to respond by the deadline.

For disbursements made each month in calendar year 2013, a certain number of payments will be chosen randomly, and applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation – for example, customer bills that support invoices submitted to USAC – to verify that those payments were made correctly. It is important that you maintain proper documentation in order to be able to respond correctly and completely to PQA requests. You can review the E-rate Binder on the USAC website for a list of documents to retain.

USAC is required to provide the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with information about improper payments, as required by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA). USAC uses the PQA assessments to estimate the rate of improper payments and provides this information to the FCC annually. USAC’s goal is to ensure that the dollar amount of all improper payments is below 1.5 percent of the total dollar amounts disbursed.

For more information on this program, you can review the PQA Program document on the USAC website. 

Winter Contact Period Starts Today

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process a form. Below we discuss two of the most common situations where USAC needs more information:

  • Problem Resolution. If USAC cannot data enter a paper form because information is missing or inconsistent, Problem Resolution will attempt to reach the contact person listed on the form (or in our database, if no contact information is provided on the form) to obtain the necessary information.
  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. If USAC needs more information from an applicant to complete the review of an application, a PIA initial reviewer will use the contact information provided on the form to send questions and to inform the applicant of any correctable errors discovered on the form during review.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules.

  • Our winter period is defined as the Friday before Christmas Day through the Friday after New Year’s Day.
  • The dates of the current winter period are December 20, 2013 through January 3, 2014.

If our first attempt to reach you is on or after December 20, and we cannot confirm by telephone that you are available to respond to our questions, we will not begin Problem Resolution or PIA review until after January 3. However, if we have made a successful contact with you before December 20, your 15-day response clock has started and we will act on the information we have on hand if we have not heard from you by the response deadline. We define a successful contact as:

  • A sent email message with no return notification of non-delivery or out-of-office response
  • A sent fax with a confirmation of successful transmission
  • A voicemail left at the contact person’s telephone number if the recorded greeting does not state that the contact person is out of the office
  • A live person answering our call at the contact telephone number or a return call responding to our message.

If PIA has already contacted you and you wish to designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure to send your designee’s contact information to your PIA reviewer. If PIA has not contacted you and your designee will be checking your messages, be sure that you have provided written authorization for your designee to answer questions about your application. PIA will request this authorization in case any changes need to be made.

Your designee should have sufficient knowledge of your application to respond accurately. If someone answers a call from PIA but is not in a position to answer PIA questions, make sure the PIA reviewer understands that the application review should be put on hold until you return.

Reminders:

  • PIA will be actively reviewing applications during the winter period. If you can respond to PIA questions at this time, please do so – it will speed the processing of your application.
  • If our first successful contact with you was before December 20, your 15-day response clock is ticking. Be sure to respond by the deadline or let us know that you need more time to prepare your response.
  • Continue to monitor your preferred mode of contact if you are working. If you or your designee can respond to questions, the processing of your application can continue.
  • If you are not available to respond to questions, it would be helpful for you to indicate this via your preferred mode of contact (e.g., an out-of-office message on email or voicemail). We will not continue to leave messages or send emails if we know you are unavailable.
 

SLD News 12/13/13 – Focus: Form 470 Competitive Bidding Process

December 13, 2013

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are not using a consultant, leave the consultant information fields blank on the FCC Form 470. If you are filing online and you start an entry in a consultant information field by mistake, you must completely delete your entry in order to continue.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013 and 2012

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 31 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 18. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of December 13, FY2013 commitments total over $1.51 billion and encompass 32,262 of FY2013 applications.

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 72 FCDLs December 19. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of December 13, FY2012 commitments total over $2.81 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Posting the FCC Form 470

In the December 6 SL News Brief we discussed the FCC Form 470, which applicants file to open a competitive bidding process for the services they desire. In this issue, we are providing additional information about posting the FCC Form 470; in the near future we will include guidance on receiving responses from bidders.

Remember that the applicant is responsible for ensuring an open and fair competitive bidding process. Only applicants can determine the types of services sought and prepare, complete, sign, certify and submit FCC Forms 470. If service providers undertake or assist the applicant with any of these actions, funding will be denied.

Posting for Priority 1 services

Starting with FY2013, applicants can post Priority 1 services on the FCC Form 470 in either the Telecommunications Services or the Internet Access category of service. In fact, the proposed draft FCC Form 470 – which should be available shortly – will feature only the category “Priority One Services” for all Priority 1 services.

Note that applicants will be required to post their services in the correct Priority 1 category of service on the FCC Form 471, but they will not be penalized if the Priority 1 category of service on the FCC Form 471 does not match the Priority 1 category of service posted on the FCC Form 470.

State or local requirements and E-rate requirements

Applicants posting FCC Forms 470 must comply not only with E-rate program requirements but also with all applicable state and local competitive bidding requirements. In general, when E-rate program requirements and state and/or local requirements differ, you should comply with the requirements that are more stringent to make sure you are in compliance with both.

Requests for Proposal

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a formal bidding document that describes the project and requested services in sufficient detail so that potential bidders understand the scope, location, and any other requirements. Although you may know these by a different name – such as Request for Quote (RFQ) or Statement of Work – USAC uses the term RFP to cover all such documents. Applicants may be required by state or local procurement rules or regulations to issue an RFP, or they may choose to do so because of the size or scope of their project or services requested.

  • Note: The FCC Form 470 and RFP must contain sufficient information to enable prospective bidders to formulate bids. If the FCC Form 470 describes in broad terms the services for which the applicant is seeking bids and the applicant also provides additional supplementary documents, those documents could be considered an RFP if they contain the detailed information necessary for the formulation of responsive bids. The applicant should consider checking the box indicating that an RFP is available if such documents are provided.

If an RFP is issued, both the RFP and the FCC Form 470 must be available for at least 28 days. While the FCC Form 470 and the RFP may be issued on the same day, in cases where one document is issued before the other, both the FCC Form 470 and the RFP must be available for least 28 days. The competitive bidding process cannot be closed prior to the second document being available for at least 28 days.

If Priority 2 products and services are being requested, those requests must be based on the applicant’s technology plan. Remember that the technology plan must be created (at least in draft form with all four required elements addressed) before the FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website.

As stated above, the applicant must follow all applicable state and local procurement rules and regulations that pertain to RFPs – e.g., issuing a formal RFP when purchasing services over a certain dollar threshold, posting any required announcement of the RFP in a newspaper, etc.

Bona fide requests

The FCC Form 470 – and RFP, if one is issued – must contain bona fide requests for services, which means that you list the specific services for which you anticipate seeking funding support. The FCC Form 470 and/or RFP must provide clear and complete descriptions of the project to be undertaken or the services desired, in sufficient detail for a service provider to be able to formulate bids. An applicant may, in certain circumstances, list multiple services on its FCC Form 470, knowing that it intends to choose one over another. However, all products and services listed on the FCC Form 470 must be linked in a reasonable way to the applicant’s technology plan, if one is required, and not request duplicative services.

Applicants cannot simply include “laundry lists” of services (i.e., entering all services eligible for funding under the E-rate program) or generic descriptions of services (e.g., “broadband connections”). If you anticipate the need for growth of broadband connections during the term of the contract that would result from the competitive bidding process, you should indicate the required speed as well as the higher potential speeds desired.

Manufacturer or brand names

Applicants cannot include the name of a specific manufacturer, brand, product, or service on an FCC Form 470 or RFP unless they also use the words “or equivalent” in their description of the products and services desired. Moreover, the applicants must then carefully consider all bids received, including any equivalent offerings, before choosing the most cost effective bid.

NOTE: Applicants may require service providers to provide services that are compatible with one kind of system over another (e.g., “Brand X compatible”).

Breaking existing contracts

If the applicant is breaking an existing contract, the new service provider cannot pay any associated contract termination charges. The applicant cannot include a request or requirement to pay those associated termination charges in either the FCC Form 470 or the RFP.

Restrictions imposed by state or local laws or regulations, reasons for disqualification, and other bid information

In Item 13 of the FCC Form 470, the applicant indicates for potential bidders any applicable restrictions imposed by state or local laws or regulations. The applicant can also set out specific requirements and disqualify bids that do not meet those requirements. However, note that these disqualification factors must be clearly spelled out on the FCC Form 470 and/or the RFP so that they are available to all potential bidders.

If you are filing online, you can open the text field in Item 13 and enter and save additional information you need to provide by:

  • Putting a check in the first checkbox in Item 13 if you are using the Expert version of the online form or
  • Clicking the “Yes” button for one of the Item 13 questions if you are using the Interview version of the online form.
 

SLD News 12/6/13 – Focus: Form 470 Process

December 6, 2013

TIP OF THE WEEK: If your entity’s address, phone, fax, or email has changed, please update the entity contact information that is on file with USAC. Contact the Client Service Bureau through Submit a Question or by calling 1-888-203-8100 and provide the changes so that we can update your entity’s record in our database.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010

Funding Year 2013. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 29 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 6 and will release Wave 30 December 11. These waves include commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of December 6, FY2013 commitments total over $1.48 billion and encompass 31,727 of FY2013 applications.

Funding Year 2012. USAC released FY2012 Wave 70 FCDLs December 2 and will release Wave 71 December 12. These waves include commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of December 6, FY2012 commitments total over $2.81 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC released FY2011 Wave 105 FCDLs December 2. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88 percent and above and denials at 87 percent and below. As of December 6, FY2011 commitments total just under $2.66 billion.

Funding Year 2010. USAC released FY2010 Wave 118 FCDLs December 6. This wave can include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at all discount levels. As of December 6, FY2010 commitments total over $3.10 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

APPLICATION PROCESS: FCC Form 470

The FCC Form 470, Description of Services Requested and Certification Form, is the first program form applicants file to request discounts under the E-rate program. In the November 22 SL News Brief we discussed the relationship between the technology plan and the FCC Form 470; this week we will discuss the form itself.

By posting an FCC Form 470 on the USAC website, applicants are opening a competitive bidding process. Applicants describe the services they are requesting on the FCC Form 470, and service providers can View a 470 or Download 470 Information in order to review and respond to applicant requests.

You must file an FCC Form 470 for FY2014 if you:

  • Are seeking non-contracted tariffed or month-to-month services.
  • Intend to sign a new contract.
  • Signed a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions without first posting an FCC Form 470 and following all of the competitive bidding rules of the program.

Your FCC Form 470 MUST:

  • Be based on your technology plan if you are required to have one.
  • Be detailed enough for potential bidders to understand your requirements and any reasons for disqualification.
  • Be posted for the correct category or categories of service (Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) for the services you are requesting. NOTE: Beginning with FY2013, applicants can post for Priority 1 services in EITHER Telecommunications Services or Internet Access on the FCC Form 470. Also, the proposed draft FCC Form 470 – which should be available shortly – will feature only the category “Priority One Services” to include all Priority 1 services.
  • Indicate whether you have issued or will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) and, if so, where it is or will be available to potential bidders (see below).
  • Encompass all entities that will receive services – including non-instructional facilities (NIFs).
  • Be posted on the USAC website for at least 28 days before you close your competitive bidding process; select a service provider; sign a contract (if appropriate); and sign, date, and submit your FCC Form 471.
  • Be certified before USAC completes the review of any funding requests based on that FCC Form 470.

Your FCC Form 470 MUST NOT:

  • Be completed or signed by a service provider or feature a service provider as the contact person in Items 6 or 12.
  • Be an encyclopedic list of services.
  • Specify vendors, manufacturers, or model numbers.

28-day posting requirement

As noted above, your FCC Form 470 must be posted on the USAC website for 28 days before you choose a service provider, sign a contract (if appropriate), and sign and submit your FCC Form 471.

  • We encourage you to take advantage of online filing, as it speeds processing, reduces errors, and provides immediate verification that your form was posted successfully. When you file online, your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website as soon as you click the Submit button.
  • If you file your FCC Form 470 on paper, USAC must complete data entry of your form before it can be posted. If you have errors or inconsistencies on your paper form, USAC must contact you to receive the correct information before your form can be posted to the USAC website. Your 28-day clock does not start until that posting occurs.

The last possible day to post an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website is 28 days before the FCC Form 471 application filing window closes. For FY2014, the last possible date to post an FCC Form 470 and still timely file an FCC Form 471 is February 26, 2014. We will make every effort to complete data entry and post a paper FCC Form 470 if we RECEIVE it by February 19, but we cannot guarantee how long the posting process will take for a paper form.

If you wait until the last possible day to post your FCC Form 470, you will have to close your competitive bidding process, evaluate the bids received, select your service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and sign and submit your FCC Form 471 all on the last day of the filing window. If you know the services you want to request – or even if you only know some of them – we suggest that you post an FCC Form 470 now for the services you know and post another FCC Form 470 later for any other services.

Issuing an RFP

You can prepare and issue an RFP in addition to your FCC Form 470. RFPs are not specifically required under program rules but may be required by your state or local procurement rules or competitive bidding requirements. An RFP describes the project you want to undertake in sufficient detail to inform potential bidders of the scope, location, and any other requirements for the project. You must also clearly indicate in the FCC Form 470 and/or the RFP any reasons that bidders could be disqualified and provide information on requirements imposed by state or local procurement rules and regulations.

If you issue an RFP, you must indicate that fact and indicate the place the RFP is available (website address, contact person in Item 6 of the form, or technical contact person in Item 12 of the form) on your FCC Form 470. If you issue your RFP after you post your FCC Form 470, you must start the count of your 28 days on the day the RFP was publicly available, not the date you posted your FCC Form 470.

FCC Forms 470 and existing contracts

If you have an existing contract, posting an FCC Form 470 may or may not be necessary.

  • Multi-year contracts or contracts with voluntary extensions. If you did not post an FCC Form 470 but signed a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions, you must post an FCC Form 470 for FY2014. You can consider your existing contract as a bid response, but you must also evaluate any other bids received. Note that if your existing contract is not the most cost-effective solution with the price of the eligible products and services as the primary factor in your bid evaluation, you will not be able to receive E-rate discounts under your existing contract for FY2014.
  • Contracts that resulted from properly posting an FCC Form 470. If you posted an FCC Form 470 and then signed a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions that covers (or will cover, if you exercise an extension) all or part of FY2014, you do not need to post a new FCC Form 470 for the period covered by that contract (see below). On Item 12 of the FCC Form 471 funding request for services provided under that contract, you can enter the FCC Form 470 application number for the competitive bidding process that resulted in that contract (the “establishing FCC Form 470”).
  • Contracts that expire before the end of the funding year. If a contract that was signed pursuant to program rules expires before June 30, 2015, you must file a new FCC Form 470 to open a competitive bidding process for any services that would be provided during the part of the funding year not covered by that expiring contract.
  • State master contracts. If you intend to purchase services from a state master contract, refer to the documents Contracts, State Master Contracts, and State Replacement Contracts for more information.

Remember that the price of the eligible products and services must be the primary factor in your bid evaluation. You can consider other factors in your evaluation, but none of those other factors can be weighted more heavily than price.

 

SLD News 11/22/13 – Focus: Form 470 Content

 November 22, 2013  

TIP OF THE WEEK: Start now to plan the steps you must complete in order to timely file your FY2014 FCC Forms 470 and 471. Remember that the FY2014 application filing window will open January 9, 2014 at noon EST and close March 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM EDT.

Please note that USAC will not issue a News Brief next Friday, November 29, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, the Client Service Bureau will be closed Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013, 2012, and 2011

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 28 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) November 27. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of November 22, FY2013 commitments total over $1.37 billion and encompass 30,095 of FY2013 applications.

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 70 FCDLs December 2. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of November 22, FY2012 commitments total over $2.81 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 105 FCDLs December 2. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88 percent and above and denials at 87 percent and below. As of November 22, FY2011 commitments total just under $2.64 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

FY2013 FCC Form 486 Deadline Reminder

Yesterday, November 21, USAC issued just under 1,080 FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters for FY2013 Funding Request Numbers (FRNs). These letters are sent to remind affected applicants that their FCC Forms 486 appear to be late, and that they have 20 days from the date of the letter to file and certify their forms.

  • An FCC Form 486 appears to be late for an FRN if no FCC Form 486 has been certified and it has been more than 120 days after the date of the FCDL or more than 120 days after the service start date reported on the FCC Form 471, whichever is later.
  • An FCC Form 486 filed online but not certified will still cause a letter to be issued. You must certify your form before the deadline to avoid a penalty (see below).
  • USAC will issue these letters going forward for FY2013 as new FRNs meet the above conditions.
  • USAC will also continue to issue these letters for FRNs from previous funding years that meet the above conditions.

If the date of your FCDL is before July 17, 2013, and your service start date is also before July 17, 2013, you must file an FCC Form 486 on or before December 11, 2013. Going forward, you should file your FCC Form 486 after you receive your FCDL and services start – in any case, no later than the deadline featured in your FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter.

Remember that, if your FCC Form 486 is received or postmarked after the deadline, USAC will reset your service start date to the date 120 days before the date your form was received or postmarked, which may result in a reduction in your funding commitment. For more information, refer to FCC Form 486 Filing and the Deadlines tool on the USAC website.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Technology Planning and the FCC Form 470

In last week’s SL News Brief we discussed technology planning. It is also important to keep in mind the relationship between the technology plan and the FCC Form 470. (The FCC Form 470, Description of Services Requested and Certification Form, is the first program form filed in the application process.) Below are several questions that you should consider as you write your technology plan and prepare to file an FCC Form 470.

Remember that, beginning with FY2011, technology plans are required only for Priority 2 services – i.e., Internal Connections and/or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.

What is the relationship between the technology plan and the FCC Form 470?

Your technology plan, if properly done, forms the basis for the acquisition and use of the products and services featured on your FCC Form 470. By describing your current and future needs and your goals and strategies for using technology, you can prepare reasonable funding requests and evaluate and monitor your progress toward reaching your technology goals.

The services you request on your FCC Form 470 should follow from your goals and strategies and your current and future needs as described in your technology plan. This helps to ensure that the products and services for which E-rate provides discounts will be put to good and effective use.

How do I avoid an overly broad FCC Form 470?

An overly broad or “encyclopedic” FCC Form 470, instead of being tailored to your technology plan, covers a wide and unconnected range of services that may be eligible for discounts but that do not necessarily advance or support the specific goals and strategies articulated in that technology plan.

Your FCC Form 470 should reflect instead a level of detail appropriate to the size and complexity of your technology plan and feature services that you actually plan to use. Your entries in the “Service” and “Quantity and/or Capacity” fields on the FCC Form 470 should be consistent with both the overall goals and the specific details included in your plan.

How long and how detailed should my technology plan and FCC Form 470 be?

There is not a minimum or maximum requirement for the length or complexity of a technology plan. We suggest that you keep the following general guidelines in mind:

  • A small entity or an entity with limited technology needs will probably have a smaller, less complex technology plan than a large entity or an entity with more complex technology needs.
  • Your current situation may affect the detail and the degree of complexity in your technology plan and your FCC Form 470. For example, a school with no infrastructure in place could explore a variety of technological solutions, while a school planning a buildout of an existing infrastructure might have more limited options because of compatibility issues with its existing equipment.
  • Technology Plan Approvers (TPAs) can set requirements of their own for the technology plans that they approve. For example, TPAs may add requirements to ensure that the technology plan complies with the requirements of other federal or state programs in addition to E-rate.

You should also make sure your technology plan is not overly narrow but could cover more than one solution to your needs. That way service providers that might not otherwise bid on your services may be encouraged to offer cost-effective solutions you may not have considered.

What effect should my needs assessment have on my FCC Form 470?

The needs assessment element of your technology plan should address more than just the number of computers or other hardware you already have or intend to acquire in order to make use of discounted services. For example, an old building with limited electrical capacity may not be able to support your requests for services unless you first make substantial modifications to its electrical system. If this is the case, upgrading your infrastructure may precede your request for all of the services you have included in your technology plan and your FCC Form 470 should take this into account.

How specific should I be about the scope of my project?

When completing your FCC Form 470, you should give service providers an accurate understanding of the scope of your project. For example, if your school district is either growing or shrinking rapidly, or your school district comprises many schools and not all the schools will share all services, you should make that information clear in your FCC Form 470 and may want to include that information in your technology plan as well.

The Quantity and/or Capacity fields on the FCC Form 470 could therefore be simple or very detailed, depending on the information you need to convey to potential bidders.

What effects could minor or major changes to my technology plan have on the FCC Form 470 I already filed?

Minor revisions or updates are those that remain within the scope of the original version of the technology plan and any related FCC Forms 470. Program rules do not require minor revisions or updates to be re-approved, but you should check with your TPA to see if he or she has other requirements.

Major revisions or updates are those outside of the scope of the original version of the technology plan and/or the FCC Form 470. A major revision would require the issuance of a new FCC Form 470 because the provision of the new or expanded products and/or services is significant enough to require a new competitive bidding process. If you intend to make a major revision or update to your technology plan, talk to your TPA.

As you get ready to file your FCC Form 470, you should review any revisions or updates that you have made to your technology plan and consider any other changes that may be necessary. If you have revised or updated your technology plan, don’t just copy the FCC Form 470 you filed last year. Think first if those revisions or updates will affect the FCC Form 470 you file for the upcoming funding year.