Applicants preparing FY2017 E-rate funding requests have been confronted with another challenge from the EPC system: disappearing forms that leave the applicant unable to find (and finish) their Form 471 application. According to a Schools & Libraries News Brief, USAC is aware of the problem and hopes to unlock the missing Form 471 applications soon.
Applicants who cannot access their Form 471 by Friday afternoon, March 17, should contact USAC for support. Some applicants may also receive an error message that their application has been submitted outside of the filing window. Those applicants should also contact USAC for support. Note: in all cases, USAC will request the application number of the Form 471(s) in question. Applicants are encouraged to record all their form data — including the Form 471 application numbers — outside of EPC. This is the only way to ensure that the data is available during USAC system outages and glitches. Having backup copies is also the only way to document if USAC makes unauthorized changes during the application review process.
In the News Brief, USAC did not provide an estimate of how many applicants were affected by the EPC malfunction or offer an further explanation about the nature of the glitch.