Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

FY2016 Window for Schools closes May 26
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FY2016 Window for Libraries/ Consortia closes July 21
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Latest News rss-feed

6/24/2016News Brief Issued


The 06/24/2016 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.

6/23/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, June 26


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, June 26 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.

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.”

5/27/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, May 29


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be unavailable from 3:00-6:00 AM ET on Sunday, May 29, for system maintenance. The USAC website, including other applications and tools that are not accessed through EPC will not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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.

4/27/2016Special Edition News Brief - New Process for Receiving and Answering PIA Questions


The 04/27/2016 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.  

4/27/2016Mel Blackwell, Vice-President of the Schools and Libraries Program, to retire from USAC July 1


See the letter from Mel Blackwell to the E-rate Program community here.

4/21/2016E-rate Program Service Provider Trainings Have Been Rescheduled from May to June


Due to the FY2016 filing window extension, the E-Rate Program trainings have been rescheduled from the original dates in May to the following dates in June. Note that the hotel venues have not changed:

  • June 20 in Los Angeles at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel
  • June 30 in Atlanta at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel

 

USAC is sensitive to the inconvenience that this rescheduling may cause, and is aware that some participants will have to adjust travel plans. We apologize for this change and for the short notice. Our goal is to provide you with the most helpful information to ensure successful participation in the E-rate Program. To fulfill that goal, rescheduling the training was necessary. 

 

By late June, we will be much better suited to provide:

  • Exact details on how the July 1 “BEAR transition” will work – what applicants have to do, when service providers can stop approving BEARs, and how service provider notifications will occur,
  • Helpful guidance on using EPC--SPI forms, visibility of BEAR forms, and other invoicing functions, and
  • Specific updates about the new platform for online search functions and capabilities, which service providers will use to get insight into FY2015 and FY2016 funding requests and commitments.

 

A note to those who registered prior to April 21 for a training:

If you registered prior to April 21 for a training, your registration has been automatically transferred to the new June date for the city you selected. You will receive information via email about this transfer. If you had already made your hotel reservations, your reservation will be transferred automatically; therefore, if you are unable to attend on the new date, please contact the hotel to cancel your room reservation.

 

If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please contact USAC Training.

 

4/20/2016Special Edition News Brief - Tips for Completing the Bulk Upload Templates


The 04/20/2016 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.

4/19/2016Special Edition News Brief - Updated Connectivity Questions Worksheet Available Tomorrow


The 04/19/2016 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.

4/15/2016FY2016 Window Extended


Today, USAC announced that the FY2016 application filing window is extended to allow applicants more time to submit their applications.

First, we are extending the window for all applicants by four weeks with a new closing date of May 26, 2016. With the recent deployment of bulk upload templates and additional updates and solutions coming over the next few weeks, we believe that the IT systems will be sufficiently stable to allow most applicants, and all schools and school districts, sufficient time to file their applications by May 26.

Second, when the window closes on May 26, we will open a second filing window for consortia and libraries, which will close on July 21, 2016. We recognize that consortia and libraries are unable to complete their applications until their member/related school district(s) finalize their discount rates in the system.

Please read the special edition News Brief for more information.   

4/11/2016Special Edition News Brief - Two EPC Improvements to the Online FCC Form 471


The 04/11/2016 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.

4/9/2016Special Edition News Brief - Special Update for Educational Service Agencies


The 04/09/2016 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.

4/5/2016Special Edition News Brief - FCC Form 471 Funding Request Bulk Upload Templates Available


The 04/05/2016 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.

3/31/20162015 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2015 Annual Report highlights the strategic groundwork put in place to support the modernization orders from the FCC. USAC developed a strategy and approach to maximize program impact and amplify our dedication to the mission of universal service. The Annual Report demonstrates these strategic shifts and showcases detailed supporting numbers for each program area.

3/28/2016Funding Year 2016 FCC Form 470 Filing Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2016


Posting the FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) opens the E-rate Program competitive bidding process.

Friday, April 1, 2016, is the last day applicants can post an FY2016 FCC Form 470 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and meet the 28-day requirement before filing the FCC Form 471 (due April 29). If you are required to file an FCC Form 470 but have not yet done so, please promptly file your form.

These resources are available to assist you:

3/23/2016Special Edition News Brief - Schools with Only Part-time Students


The 03/23/2016 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.

3/15/2016Special Edition News Brief - New Option for Answering Connectivity Questions for FY2016


The 03/15/2016 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.

3/7/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, March 7


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 PM ET, Monday, March 7, 2016 for 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.