On February 12, 2015 Education Secretary Arne Duncan released a video blog reminding school administrators that February 26, 2015 is the last date to post a Form 470 for FY 2015 and March 26, 2015 is the last date to submit a Form 471 application to actually request E-rate funding support. In the fall of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education created a technology guide to also help districts navigate how to create broadband infrastructure networks which is a useful resource.
The SLD has also released helpful competitive bidding guidance to which E-rate applicants should adhere. It is advisable for applicants to not wait until the last minute before starting the procurement process, because of the new E-rate forms and rules, and the risk of clerical mistakes and typos from rushing.
There are dozens of appeals each year from applicants requesting waivers from the FCC because of missed E-rate deadlines. While the FCC acknowledges that E-rate administrators are typically overworked and have many responsibilities, these appeal decisions can take months before they are resolved, and waiver requests are not always granted.
If you need last minute assistance with preparing the Form 470 or Form 471 application, please email Funds For Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.