Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

Step 3 Applying for Discounts

Updated August 2016

FCC Form 471 Filing

An applicant that applies for Schools and Libraries Program support for eligible services must calculate the discount percentage that it and the schools or libraries it represents are eligible to receive and report the costs and details of the eligible services for which it is requesting discounts.

What to File

FCC Form 471

The FCC Form 471, Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form, must be filed online in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

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For step-by-step filing guidance, watch the FCC Form 471 video series.

Purpose of Form

Applicants file an FCC Form 471 to request discounts on eligible products and services. Applicants must include information on the recipients of services, discount calculations, costs of service, dates of service, and service provider(s), and provide detailed descriptions of services. Applicants must also certify compliance with program rules.

When to File

Applicants cannot file FCC Form 471 before the Allowable Vendor Selection/Contract Date (ACD), which is 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website. This date is provided on the FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) issued in the applicant's portal upon successful certification of the FCC Form 470. The FCC Form 471 can be filed as soon as the application filing window opens. The exact date and time of the window is announced in advance on the USAC website each year.

Deadline: The FCC Form 471 must be received or postmarked by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on or before the date that the application filing window closes. Applications filed after this date will be considered out-of-window, and are unlikely to receive funding. The exact date and time is announced and counted down on the USAC website.

Services and products for which discounts are requested must be described in the "Funding Requests" area of the form.

After Filing

USAC issues a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) to both the applicant and the service provider(s) upon successful data entry and certification of an FCC Form 471. RALs are posted to the applicant and service provider EPC accounts. These letters are only issued to certified and in-window forms. Instructions for submitting allowable corrections are contained in the letter.

USAC issues a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) to both the applicant and the service provider after the review of an FCC Form 471 has been completed. These letters are also posted to the applicant and service provider EPC accounts.

Submitting Window Waivers

Some applicants have had to wait until after the application filing window closed to complete and certify their FCC Forms 471, for example, due to a late-filed FCC Form 470 or a contract signed after the filing window closed.

These applications are not considered for funding if they remain in an out-of-window status. For USAC to move these applications in-window, the applicant must request – and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must grant – a waiver of the filing window deadline.

To file a window waiver request:

  • First, make sure you have followed all program rules. For example, you must still wait at least 28 days after you certified your FCC Form 470 before you choose a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and certify your FCC Form 471.
  • File and certify your FCC Form 471 in EPC. You will then receive an out-of-window message.
  • File a window waiver request with the FCC. USAC cannot approve appeals or waiver requests that ask for a waiver from program rules.

For guidance on filing waiver requests with the FCC, go to the section titled "To File an Appeal with the FCC" in the appeals guidance document on the USAC website. Note that you can file your appeal electronically using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

To file online:

  • Go to the ECFS "Submit a FILING" page.
  • Enter "02-6" in the "Proceeding" field.
  • Provide the information requested. (There are certain fields that are not applicable, such as the "Report Number" or "Bureau ID Number.") Be sure to choose "WAIVER" from the dropdown menu in the "Type of Filing" field.
  • Click the text in the "Upload Documents" field to open an upload window and attach your appeal and any supporting documentation. You can also drag and drop your file(s) into the "Upload Documents" field.
  • Review your work, make any necessary changes, and then submit your waiver request.