SLD News 1/25/13 Focus: Form 471 Filing

FY2013 WINDOW COUNTDOWN

Days to window close 48
FCC Forms 470 filed to date 25,411
FCC Forms 471 filed to date 3,173
Online Item 21 attachments filed to date 5,982

 TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t forget to file your FY2011 invoices – FCC Form 472 (BEAR) and FCC Form 474 (SPI) – on or before January 28. If you miss this deadline, you must file – and USAC must approve – an invoice deadline extension request before you can submit an invoice.

Commitments for Funding Years 2012 and 2011

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 28 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) January 29. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90% and denials at 89% and below. As of January 25, FY2012 commitments total over $1.77 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 78 FCDLs January 30. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88% and above and denials at 87% and below. As of January 25, FY2011 commitments total just under $2.51 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.

Preparing to File FCC Form 471

After applicants have filed an FCC Form 470, waited at least 28 days, selected the most cost-effective bid using the price of eligible products and services as the primary factor in their evaluation process, and signed a contract (for services other than non-contracted tariffed or month-to-month services), they are ready to begin filing FCC Form 471, Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form. This form provides USAC with the detailed information necessary to review and make decisions on applicant funding requests.

In advance of filing the form, applicants should gather together the materials and other information needed to prepare and file this form. Following are some examples of information that you should have ready before you begin.

Billed Entity information

In Block 1 of the FCC Form 471, we ask for the name, address, and other contact information for both the Billed Entity and the contact person. The information on the Billed Entity already exists in our database and cannot be changed online; the information on the contact person can be changed, and can be the same as or different from the Billed Entity information. The contact person information is specific to each form – in other words, you could file three FCC Forms 471 and enter a different contact person on each form.

To verify that the Billed Entity information in our database is correct:

  • Go to the Apply Online page.
  • Choose either “Form 471 Interview” or “Create Form 471.”
  • Search for your Billed Entity by zip code or entity number.
  • Review the contact information displayed for your Billed Entity.

If any of the information is incorrect, you must contact the Client Service Bureau (CSB) to correct it. You can do this in any one of the following ways:

  • Call CSB at 1-888-203-8100 and make your request.
  • Fax your request to CSB at 1-888-276-8736.
  • Email your request to CSB using Submit a Question. Choose “Entity Number” from the Topic Menu and “Other” from the Specific Inquiry menu, then provide the necessary information.

If your Billed Entity does not exist in the USAC database, you can ask CSB to create an entity number. To submit a request, first refer to the guidance on Entity Numbers posted on the USAC website. If you need to create more than two new entity numbers, you should use the fax or email options above to submit your request. Remember to include all of the required information specified in the Entity Numbers guidance.

  • NOTE: You may be asked for evidence of your authorization – e.g., a letter on school or library letterhead, a consultant letter of agency – to request a new entity number or a correction to an existing entity. 

Recipient of service information

In Block 4 of the FCC Form 471, you list the recipients of service – that is, the individual entities that are receiving services – in a worksheet. Each of the entities in a worksheet must have an entity number.

  • Some services are provided to one individual school or one library outlet/branch and will require only one entity number to identify the recipient of service; these are called site-specific services.
  • Some services are provided to the entire school district or library system. For these shared services, you must prepare a worksheet listing all of the individual entities that will be sharing the service.
  • Some services are provided to a subset of schools in a school district, a subset of library outlets/branches in a library system, or a subset of consortium members in a consortium. For each set of these shared services, you must prepare a worksheet listing only the specific entities sharing the service.
  • If you need to calculate the discount for a non-instructional facility (NIF), prepare a worksheet listing all the schools in your school district or all the library outlets/branches in your library system. The shared discount calculated on this worksheet becomes the discount for the NIF. We refer to this as a “non-matrix” discount because for most applicants this calculation results in a discount that does not appear in the E-rate program’s Discount Matrix (e.g., 79%, 54%).

If you need to update information for any of the individual recipients of service – or if you need USAC to create entity numbers for new recipients of service – contact CSB as described above.

You also will need to enter certain specific information about each recipient of service, including:

  • Urban or rural status. You can use the Urban/Rural Status guidance document on the USAC website to determine if an entity is considered urban or rural.
  • Total number of students. Individual schools use the total number of students in that school. Library outlets/branches use the total number of students in the school district in which the library building is located.
  • Total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Individual schools use the total number of students eligible for NSLP in that school. Library outlets/branches use the total number of students eligible for NSLP in the school district in which the library building is located.
  • Other demographic information as appropriate. For example, there are checkboxes to indicate if any students in a school are Head Start, pre-kindergarten, juvenile justice, or adult education students, or if the school or library is considered new construction or is using an alternative discount mechanism to calculate its discount.

NSLP numbers may be obtained from school district offices or state departments of education. In many states, these numbers are also posted on a state website.

Establishing FCC Form 470

On each FCC Form 471 funding request, you must include the establishing FCC Form 470 application number in Item 12. The establishing FCC Form 470 is the form that was the basis for the competitive bidding process that resulted in the selection of the service provider identified on that funding request.

  • If a funding request is for a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions, you may have to look in your records from a previous year to find the correct FCC Form 470 application number.
  • If you are eligible to purchase from a state master contract or state replacement contract, you may have to ask the state agency that ran the competitive bidding process for the correct FCC Form 470 application number.

Service and contract information

If you have signed a contract, make sure you have a copy of the contract when you start filling out your FCC Form 471. You must provide a number of contract details, such as the date the contract was awarded, the contract number, and the date the contract expires. A contract or other service documentation from your service provider can also help you prepare the description of services you must provide as an attachment to Item 21 of the form.

If you don’t have a contract, you will still need information about your services, such as the dates the services for that funding year will start and end, and you still must provide an Item 21 attachment.

Remember that, in general, the category of service featured on each funding request must match the category of service featured on the establishing FCC Form 470. NOTE: Starting with FY2013, applicants can list Priority 1 services in either or both Priority 1 categories of service (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) on the FCC Form 470, but must select the correct Priority 1 category of service on the FCC Form 471.

Applicant financial resources

Applicants must be able to pay the non-discount share of their funding requests (that is, the part of the cost of eligible services that will not be paid by USAC) and the costs of the resources necessary to make effective use of the discounted services – such as computers, electrical capacity, and staff training – that are not themselves eligible for discounts.

Remember that the funds to pay your non-discount share cannot come directly or indirectly from your service provider(s).

If you file the FCC Form 471 online, the system will calculate and enter your total non-discount share for that form in Item 25 using the data you provide in your funding requests. You must then calculate and enter the total cost of the necessary resources. Be sure to read the Item 25 certification carefully so that you understand it.

These are examples of the information you will want to have on hand before you start filing your FCC Form 471. We suggest that you review the FCC Form 471 and Instructions now so that you will be familiar with the form requirements. Remember that you must file online or postmark your FY2013 FCC Form 471 – including your Item 21 attachment(s) – by 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, March 14, 2013.