USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) hosts monthly Service Provider conference calls, providing information and guidance for vendors participating in the E-rate program. This month’s call combined multiple E-rate stakeholder groups together for one call. Here are highlights from the call held on June 28, 2016:
Pace of FY16 funding commitments
The SLD will release Wave 2 this week and intends to continue to issue a wave per week. The SLD understands how important funding commitments are and is working to make certain the information on the FY2016 FCDL is correct. The SLD is working to correct the issues and bugs that were found when Wave 1 was released. The next News Brief should include more information regarding the pace and updates.
FY2017 FCC Form 470
On July 1, the Form 470 for FY17 will be available in EPC for applicants to begin their procurement processes for the next funding year.
FCC Form 486 is available
The FY2016 Form 486 is now available in EPC. If an applicant received a funding commitment on Wave 1, they can go ahead and complete the Form 486 in EPC.
FCC Form 473 (SPAC) for FY2016
On July 1, Form 473 will be available in the service provider e-File page. When creating the SPAC, the list of funding years a service provider will see will only be for the years in which a SPAC is not on file.
How to get a PIN
Starting July 1, all BEARs will have to be filed electronically using the current BEAR filing system. Applicants must have or request a PIN directly from USAC. If currently using a PIN to file BEARs electronically, the applicant will be able to continue to use their same PIN. If you have a PIN but have lost it, you can request to regenerate the PIN by calling the CSB at 1-888-203-8100. This process can take up to two weeks. If the applicant does not have a PIN, or needs a new PIN after July 1st, the SLD released detailed instructions in the USAC News Brief dated June 24, 2016.
General Questions from audience:
Q1: Can one person start the BEAR and another user have the ability to finish it?
A: Yes, but each person must have a PIN to access the information/login.
Q: With respect to Wave 1 and any errors, will this be resent?
A: The SLD will not re-run this wave, but will regenerate the FCDL and sent and updated notification in EPC to those affected.
Q: Can someone funded in Wave 1 file a Form 486 prior to regenerating this?
Q: Form 473 – Where can they certify?
A: In the E-file system, between the BEAR and the Item 21 options will be the option to create the SPAC.
Q: Idea about the pace of the FCDL
A: Should pick up as the SLD moves forward. News Brief in the next week should have more updates on the pace of this. Should likely pickup in wave 3,4, & 5.
Q: Working on fixes for files/forms. Will there be a way to know they have been updated and or fixed?
A: Yes, this info will be a part of the electronic update correspondence.
Q: Banking validation for form 498, is e-file the only way to submit a blank check to verify banking.
A: Will not turn away faxes, however the e-file is the quickest way.
Q: Form 498 – Small school districts, banking is often through the county treasurer.
A: E-mail them and they will work together to find a solution for the BEAR direct deposits.