The Schools and Libraries Division October 21 provided additional guidance on a new requirement that all E-rate program participants obtain a Federal Communications Commission Registration Number.
The FCC said that all entities are required to obtain at least one FCC registration number by November 1, the effective date of a new requirement imposed by the FCC's Fifth Report and Order. The requirement extends to schools, including individual schools, school districts, educational service agencies and school administrative facilities; libraries and branches; consortium leaders and members, service providers, consultants and any other persons or entities that may file a Form 470 or Form 471 on behalf of other entities.
The SLD said, "We anticipate that we will be able to provide a procedure to assist applicants in obtaining FCC RNs corresponding to individual Entity Numbers by the opening of the Form 471 application filing window." State leaders have complained that requiring large school districts or consortia to obtain these numbers for all their individual sites or members could be an onerous paperwork burden. For now, the SLD said that applicants will be required to have at least one number by November 1.
Neither the proposed Form 470 or Form 471 application for the 2005 funding year includes a field for this number, but the SLD has said that Program Integrity Assurance application reviewers will ask participants to produce these numbers when their applications are reviewed.
Numbers can be obtained by going to www.fcc.gov, and clicking on the "FCC Registration Number" link at the top left of the page. Entities that already have a number because of their participation in other FCC programs should not apply for a new one. (For instance, some school districts may hold various kinds of FCC broadcasting or telecommunications licenses.) Entities are required to supply a Taxpayer Identification Number—generally the Employer Identification Number in the case of organizations—as part of the registration process. The registration process makes note of when the number was actually obtained.
Because this registration system is used for programs beyond the E-rate, the SLD has provided some guidance on how applicants should describe themselves as part of the process. These details are available at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/whatsnew/2004/102004.asp#102104.