Submitting Your Form 471 Application
Once an applicant has either established that a Form 470 is not required or posted a Form 470 and has selected a service provider per all relevant FCC, state and local procurement regulations, the applicant will need to submit an FCC Form 471.
Each year, applicants will submit a Form 471 to tell the SLD how much money they need, who their service providers are and what their discount rate is. The completed application must be submitted and certified within the filing window dates established by the SLD. The Item 21 Attachment will also be submitted to the SLD before the end of the Form 471 Filing Window.
For Paper Applications
It is important to note that in modernizing the E-rate program with the 7th Report and Order, the FCC is requiring that all FCC E-rate forms be filed online with USAC. Though this requirement has not yet fully gone into effect, the switch to complete electronic filing will be phased in over Funding Years 2015-2017, as USAC develops online systems to accept all forms.
Applications must be postmarked by the established window closing deadline. The postmarks of applications that are received by the SLD after deadline are checked to verify that they were postmarked prior to the filing window closing.
Applicants can use the postal service or a courier service that offers package tracking. Often this may be the only way to demonstrate that an application was on its way to the SLD prior to the close of the filing window.
When submitting your application on paper, be sure to include the completed application, including the certifications pages and the signature of the authorized signatory for your organization. Omitting any portion of your application could put your opportunity to receive E-rate discounts in jeopardy.
For Online Applications
Applications must be submitted to the SLD's website by the close of the filing window (Eastern Time Zone). An applicant in the process of preparing its application, and using the SLD's website at the moment when the window closes, is generally NOT considered to have timely filed the application – even if the application is submitted just a few minutes after the deadline.
Form Submission and Certification
There are two distinct steps to completing a Form 471 application on the SLD's website--submission and certification. The submission of the form must be completed by the close of the filing window. Users of the SLD's online system will receive an immediate confirmation that their Form 471 has been submitted successfully.
Users that have a PIN issued by USAC can then certify their Form 471 on the SLD website. If the user does not have a PIN, or is otherwise unable to certify the submitted form online, the signed certification pages of the Form 471 must be sent to the SLD on paper.
If an applicant has submitted the Form 471 online but has not certified it by close of the filing window, the applicant then has 20 days to certify either online or on paper. Applicants do not need to wait for a letter from USAC informing them that their 471 was not certified.