The funding year 2019 E-rate filing window has officially opened. The USAC EPC system is receiving Form 471 applications and several have already been submitted. The first applicants were:
Now that the filing window is open, here are a few important reminders.
  • USAC is Open – Despite the shutdown of the federal government, USAC continues to operate and process applications.
     
  • Competitive Bidding is Now – To comply with the 28-day competitive bidding requirement, Form 470 “request for services” notifications should be posted soon. The last possible date to post a Form 470 and still have a 28-day bid process will be February 27, 2019; however, as a practical matter, more time than 28 days is required to complete the contract award process. The earlier a Form 470 can be posted, the more likely the bidding and contract award process will be completed in time.
     
  • Category Two Funding is Available – Support for on-campus computer networks and Wi-Fi, also known as Category Two funding, continues to be available in funding year 2019. E-rate stakeholders are waiting to hear about the future of Category Two discounts in 2020 and beyond. School and library locations that have need of data cabling and equipment between now and September 30, 2020, are encouraged to submit their Category Two funding requests in 2019.
     
  • Entity Profiles are Locked – The funding year 2019 Administrative Window is now closed. Site lists, counts of students and library information are all frozen during the filing window.
 
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The E-rate program is now entering its 22nd year. It has played a critical role in helping schools and libraries get connected with telecommunications services, Internet access and computer networks. Nearly every school and library in the United States depends on the E-rate program to help it meet its connectivity goals, and the program enjoys strong bi-partisan support in Congress.
 
The application filing window is scheduled to be open for 70 days, closing on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application(s) as soon as possible.