More than 1,000 Form 470 applications were posted to the Schools and Libraries Division’s website on January 19, which was the last effective date to post a Form 470 for Funding Year 2006 requests for E-rate discounts. Applicants posting a Form 470 application must accept bids from potential service providers for at least 28 days before choosing a vendor and formalizing service agreements. Additionally, those who posted a Form 470 on January 19 must also complete, submit, and certify their Form 471 application for discounts on the day that they must be submitted to the SLD.
A total of 31,072 of Form 470 applications have been posted since July 1, 2005 according to Funds For Learning’s Sales Manager service. The number of filings this year is almost identical to the previous application cycle during which 31,402 Form 470s were posted.
Many E-rate applicants are now counting the days until the close of the Form 471 application filing window on February 16. Applicants are required to have their Form 471 applications submitted and certified by the deadline in order to be considered for discounts on eligible services and products beginning July 1, 2006. In addition to the submission and certification of the Form 471 application, an applicant’s Form 470 application must also be certified by February 16, 2006.
Funds For Learning has created a easy-to-use web page to check the certification status of an applicant’s Form 470 applications. The applicant needs only to input its Billed Entity Number (BEN) to use the utility. The page, located at http://www.eratemanager.com/470status.htm, is available to all applicants free of charge as a service to the E-rate community.