Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

FY2016 Window for Schools closes May 26








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8/19/2016News Brief Issued

The 08/19/2016 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

8/18/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, August 21

The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, August 21 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

8/12/2016Weekly Service Provider Webinars Begin August 16

Beginning August 16, 2016, USAC will host weekly webinars for service providers each Tuesday from noon to 1:00 PM ET.

These webinars replace the weekly Tuesday conference calls (currently held from noon to 1:00 PM ET) and the monthly webinars (currently held on the first Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET).

All service providers are invited to attend the weekly Tuesday webinars, which will cover E-rate Program updates and information relevant to service providers. Registration each week is complimentary, and required. We look forward to having you join us!

How to Register for a Webinar 
Visit the Service Provider Webinar page on our website, or use the link in your reminder/agenda email to register. You must register separately for each week’s webinar. Doing so will allow you to submit questions and receive the agenda in advance. If you don't have a question to submit in advance, you can simply register at the time that you log in and view the agenda at that time.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar, including a personalized URL. Please do not forward your confirmation email to others; the URL it contains is unique to you. To share the event with others, forward the entire reminder/agenda email from USAC or direct them to the Monthly Webinars web page.

Tips for Joining Your First Webinar
USAC recommends logging in a few minutes early for the first webinar to allow extra time to connect to the webinar service.

When you join for the first time, you'll be prompted to download and run a file called "CitrixLauncher.exe." After you download this file, it will be faster to join future webinars. For more details, visit instructions to download the launcher file on the GoToWebinar support website.

To join the webinar on your mobile device, download the free GoToMeeting App (available for iPhone, Android, and Windows) in advance for quick access.

8/12/2016Save the Date! E-rate Program Applicant Training

Mark your calendars! Registration will be opening soon for the E-rate Program Applicant Trainings. These full-day trainings are intended for schools, libraries, and consortia that apply to the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. 

More details and registration will be available soon in the Training & Outreach section of our website. To be notified when registration is available, make sure you're subscribed to the SL News Brief.

2016 training locations and dates: 

  • Washington, DC - Monday, September 26, 2016 
  • Orlando, FL - Thursday, October 6, 2016 
  • Houston, TX - Friday, October 14, 2016 
  • Philadelphia, PA - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 
  • Minneapolis, MN - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 
  • St. Louis, MO - Thursday, November 10, 2016 
  • Seattle, WA - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 
  • Los Angeles, CA - Friday, November 18, 2016 

8/11/2016E-rate Program Service Provider Updates

Starting today, all subscriber to the "E-rate Program Service Providers" list, will receive news updates and guidance for service providers from USAC in addition to the webinar reminders.

We hope you find the emails about the E-rate Program to be informative and helpful with your program participation!

8/8/2016Special Edition News Brief - Update on Invoicing and Payment Processes for FY2016

The 08/08/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

7/29/2016Craig Davis to Lead Schools and Libraries Program

USAC is pleased to announce that Craig Davis will assume the role of Vice President of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. After a full search process with strong internal and external candidates, we are confident that Craig’s background and experience will enable him to successfully lead the program and deliver upon its inspired mission.

Craig has an extensive track record of demonstrating stakeholder-driven success in his current role as Vice President of USAC’s Rural Health Care Program (RHC). During the past two years with RHC, Craig and his team have seen dramatic increases in productivity, stakeholder engagement and satisfaction, and have reduced the number of appeals to single digits.

The similar structure of the E-rate and RHC programs gives Craig the benefit of operational familiarity, while still bringing a fresh perspective and a need and desire to learn from E-rate stakeholders about the opportunities to further improve USAC’s delivery of the program. 

Craig also understands and has managed the implementation of large-scale production level systems, which will be a much-needed asset as we continue to roll out and improve the performance of the EPC system and begin the process of considering more significant changes to fully achieve our shared goals for the applicant and service provider experience.

Before joining USAC in 2002, Craig worked for a variety of telecommunications companies, including a dark fiber provider, a wireless competitive local exchange carrier, and an operator services provider. Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Craig will officially become the Vice President of the Schools and Libraries Program on August 1. Current Vice President Mel Blackwell will remain as an advisor to USAC and the program through the end of the year.

We look forward to working with all of you as we continue our efforts to realize the vision and grow the impact of the Schools and Libraries Program.

7/21/2016Reminder: Submit Complete Responses to PIA Questions

To prevent applicants from submitting incomplete responses to Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) questions, applicants must now complete all fields in their responses to submit. Specifically, you must fill in all text boxes. If you miss a text box, you will receive a message saying, “A value is required,” and you will not be able to submit your response.

If you are responding to your questions and a text box does not apply to you, please enter “Does not apply” or “N/A” in that box. This will allow you to submit your response as long as the questions that do apply to you have all been answered and/or the appropriate documents have been uploaded.

For more information, you can refer to the final article in the July 15 SL News Brief.

SPECIAL NOTE: Some applicants are receiving a message that begins “Error Evaluating UI Expression” when they try to access their PIA questions. We are working to fix this problem, and we should have that fix in place sometime next week. If you are getting close to your response deadline and you still cannot access your PIA questions, please request an extension on the Review Inquiries page (from the left-hand menu on your FCC Form 471 in EPC). Your first extension request will be granted automatically.

7/21/2016Special Edition News Brief - Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Guidance for Libraries

The 07/21/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

6/16/2016Special Edition News Brief - USAC Releases First Funding Wave for FY2016

The 06/16/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

6/8/2016USAC to Fully Fund All Eligible FY2016 Service Requests

The FCC issued a Public Notice (DA 16-629) directing USAC to fully fund all eligible FY2016 category 1 and category 2 service requests. The FCC stated that there is sufficient funding available to fully meet the E-rate Program’s estimated demand under the current FY2016 cap of $3.939 billion and the $1.9 billion in unused funds from previous funding years. 

6/7/2016FY2016 Demand Estimate Filed with FCC

USAC’s FY2016 Demand Estimate for the E-rate Program is $3.609 billion. Under this estimate, $2.330 billion is for Category 1 services and $1.279 billion for Category 2 services.  This estimate is based on total funds requested during the first FCC Form 471 filing window, $3.175 billion, and a projected amount of $434 million for the second filing window.

Funding Year 2016 runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

5/27/2016Notice to Consortia Filing FCC Forms 471

RESOLVED: Consortia that file an FCC Form 471 after May 26 will receive a popup message immediately after they certify their form telling them that the form is out of window. This message is incorrect, and we are working to get it fixed as soon as possible.

If you are filing for a consortium, you can verify in your EPC news feed or in your form display that the status of your form is “Certified In Window.”

5/23/2016Extended CSB Hours This Week

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for schools and school districts closes this week at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, May 26. If you need assistance, call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) as soon as possible. Be mindful of the times they are busiest (see below).

Call: (888) 203-8100
Online: Submit a customer service case in EPC or Submit a Question

The Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open the following hours during the last week of the window:

  • Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT
  • Monday-Wednesday, May 23-25, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM EDT
  • Thursday, May 26 at 8:00 AM through Friday, May 27 at 12:30 AM EDT

Remember that the following times are our busiest:

  • Weekdays from 11:00 AM to12:30 PM and 2:30 to 4:00 PM EDT

We encourage you to call with questions as soon as possible so that we can provide answers promptly.

5/23/2016Special Edition News Brief - Tips for Last-minute Filers (Schools and School Districts)

The 05/23/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.  

5/16/2016Changes to the EPC and Apply Online Pages

This week, USAC is rolling out some changes to the web content around application filing. Our team has heard from many of you that critical information is hard to find and that certain tasks that make sense to legacy users, such as "Apply Online," are very confusing to new users. So we've recreated the "E-rate Productivity Center" page as the "Apply for E-rate" page. 

Now, you can access:

  • All previous and current funding year links from one page,
  • See the entire application process broken down into four easy steps, and
  • Access resources such as filing guides and videos associated with each step.

Explore the new Apply for E-rate page now.

We've also made some changes to the FY2016 Filing Window page. Go here to learn filing date updates, access all EPC filing guidance, and explore our blog.

We hope these improvements help you, but we also welcome any additional feedback you may have on these pages.

5/12/2016Can't Find Your Service Provider's SPIN/498 ID?

If you haven't been able to locate your service provider's SPIN (also known as a 498 ID), you can still complete your funding requests. There's now an interim SPIN available that you can use as a place holder for your service provider's actual SPIN. The interim SPIN is: 143666666. Enter this number in the SPIN (498 ID) field on the FCC Form 471.

If your service provider's actual SPIN becomes available before Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review, you can submit a RAL correction through your online account to update the SPIN. Otherwise, you can update the SPIN during the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) application review process.