Each year new service providers enter into the K-12 E-rate market and bid on projects which may receive E-rate discounts. In order for service providers to participate in the E-rate program they must fill out the Form 498 and obtain a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN). As part of the Form 471 funding application, applicants are required to identify the SPIN for the vendor that won the applicant competitive bidding process, and will be providing the service or good(s) for which they are seeking E-rate discounts.
It can take several weeks for new service provider entrants to receive their SPIN, but the Form 471 need not be delayed in the meantime. Applicants can use the temporary SPIN (143666666) which USAC has set aside for any new E-rate service provider that has not yet received their permanent SPIN. Based on my analysis, 223 applicants utilized the temporary SPIN on their E-rate application for FY 2015, for 489 funding requests totaling $18.5 million.
If a service provider receives their permanent SPIN and an applicant has not yet received their Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL), they may change to the current SPIN during the application review process or with corrections on their Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL). If the applicant already has an FCDL, the applicant should submit a corrective SPIN change request to USAC in writing when the correct SPIN is available.