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E-rate Tips for a Successful Filing Window

Below are a few tips to help guide you through the 2019 Form 471 filing window.
Posting Form 470s. February 27, 2018 is the last day to post an FCC Form 470, requesting bids for services, in EPC. 
  • The Form 470 is prepared in EPC by navigating to My Landing Page and selecting FCC Form 470 in the upper right corner.
  • Applicants using additional procurement vehicles (RFP, CSP or other specifications) are instructed to upload those RFP documents to the Form when posting and certifying. 
Waiting 28 Days. Remember to wait 28 days before closing the competitive bid process.  Once the competitive bid process has closed, evaluate all bids received.  Document the evaluation and selection process.  Remember that the price of the eligible goods and services must be given the highest weighted criteria when scoring and evaluating any selection factors.  It is a best practice to save copies of all vendor selection documentation. 
Executing Service Agreements. Once the 28-day waiting period for competitive bids has closed, and you have selected (and documented) the winning provider, it is time to execute agreements and contracts for services.  If your school or library requires board approval, or other internal requirements to execute binding agreements, be sure to allow plenty of time to meet internal deadlines prior to submitting the FCC Form 471.
Gathering Documents and Being Responsive. Be careful to gather and retain all documentation as you go. If you submit your application early and can answer USAC questions in a timely manner, you have a good chance of receiving E-rate support for your school or library in calendar year 2019.
Entering Contracts in EPC. Contract details are no longer entered in the FCC Form 471. Contracts are managed separately from the application and can be done so by navigating in EPC to Related Actions/Manage Contracts/Add a New Contract. Submitted contracts cannot be edited or deleted in EPC, and changes to a previously submitted contract require adding a New Contract into the system again. EPC allows applicants to assign a contract nickname when submitting a contract and this can be very useful to applicants who find multiple versions of the same agreement in the contract profile in EPC. Items that will be necessary to have available when entering a contract in EPC include the establishing Form 470, service agreement, count of bids received, contract term and renewal options.
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