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Next Steps for E-rate Funding

If you are one of the thousands that have completed an FY2016 Form 471 application, congratulations, you made it! Here are a few important next steps in your journey towards receiving E-rate discounts.

  1. Verify the application is certified in EPC. You should start by confirming that your Form 471(s) have been certified. You can check this by accessing your entity under Records, then FCC Forms (left side bar), then Form Category (FCC Form 471), and then, under Status, select ALL. This will provide you a list of your Forms 471 and their current status.  The status options are: Incomplete, Certified, or Committed.  
  2. Check the Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL). This letter is a notification that your Form 471 has been received by USAC. It is your opportunity to review your Form 471 for accuracy. Formerly received in the mail, the RAL can now be found in EPC by selecting News in the very top left of the EPC screen (in the dark blue bar). If you notice any discrepancies or changes that are necessary to your Form 471, you may be able to correct it. To submit a RAL correction, select the 471 form and then choose “Related Actions” from the left-hand side bar and “Submit Modification Request (RAL)”.

    A copy of the relevant portion of your RAL will also be sent to each service provider listed on your Form 471.

  3. Verify the Review status of a 471. After finding your Form 471 in EPC, you can click on it to check the current review status of the application.  The current EPC Form 471 Status bar is at the top of each Form 471 filed with USAC.  The progress bar will indicate the current stage of the review process for an application. If an application is “In Review”, no action is currently required.  Once the application bar moves to the final stage, “Committed”, a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) will be issued.
  4. Watch for Form 471 Outreach. If your Form 471 application status is set to “outreach”, this is an indication that USAC has questions or needs additional information to complete the review of your application. Outreach, formerly known as PIA, can be viewed and responded to by locating the Form 471, selecting “Related Actions” and then clicking on “Respond to Inquiries (Answer Reviewer Questions)”. Outreach activity will also appear in your EPC task list. Be sure to contact the administrator of your EPC account and encourage them to watch for an email notification that Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) is requesting information. 
  5. Monitor EPC. Keep close watch on your applications by checking their status in EPC on a regular basis. If your organization uses a consultant, promptly pass along any EPC or USAC notifications that you receive. All requests are time-sensitive and a failure to respond in a timely manner can jeopardize some or all of your funding. Due to the late closing of the filing window for schools, it is especially important to provide responses quickly if you hope to receive a funding commitment soon. 
  6. Contact USAC if something isn’t right. If there appears to be a problem with your Form 471 application(s), reach out to USAC immediately. You can contact them using the Actions tool located at the top of EPC. There you can create a Customer Service Case for a variety of topics and Forms. If the issue is extremely time sensitive, we recommend submitting a customer service ticket and following it up with a call to the customer service bureau (CSB). Remember to keep your case number handy to reference to the USAC customer service representative.
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Our mission is to provide high-quality consulting and support services for the needs of E-rate program participants. We consult with applicants to help them understand, effectively utilize, and maintain compliance with E-rate rules and regulations. We help prepare and submit paperwork, and interact with program administrators on our clients’ behalf.

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