A Funds For Learning® analysis shows that the number of FY2014 Form 470s posted as of Nov. 20, 2013 is consistent with prior funding years.
Historically, the majority of Form 470s are posted within 60 days of the Form 471 filing deadline, with the most Form 470s being posted in January and February in recent years. Although the total number of forms for FY2014 is yet to be seen, the count and pace of the applications is consistent with the last two funding years.
In looking at the scope of services requested on the Form 470s, early indications are that fewer applicants are seeking Priority Two discounts, continuing a trend that has been developing since FY2010. Similarly, the number of Priority One-only Form 470 applications continues to rise.
Although Form 470s can be posted as early as July for the following funding year, most applicants do not post their Form 470s and start their procurement activities until USAC announces the Form 471 filing window. Applicants are encouraged to start their competitive bidding early. Posting a Form 470 earlier can lead to fewer mistakes and faster funding commitment decisions.
The Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 proposal includes the establishment of a set Form 471 filing window period. This would enable applicants to plan their procurement activities with greater certainty. Under the Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 proposal, USAC would be allowed to issue funding commitment decision letters as soon as an application is submitted and reviewed. This would encourage and reward applicants for submitting their Form 470 and Form 471 applications sooner.