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THE E-RATE FILING PROCESS

2.2 billion dollars are distributed to schools and libraries every year through the E-Rate Process. Every school that wants to participate must go through the correct filing process. We can provide any help you need filing 470/471 forms.

Filing for E-rate

A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing E-Rate

Filing Online?

USAC is encouraging applicants to apply online. They claim the electronic process will be faster. If you paper file, be prepared for many phone calls and lost paper work.

You must have a PIN before you can electronically certify your signature on any of the E-rate forms. To request a PIN, visit https://slpin.universalservice.org/Pin/PinArea.aspx

E-rate forms are online at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp

The E-rate filing process at a glance

Step 1:

Fill out a Form 470 there are four separate sections for services.

  1. Telecommunications: This is for Internet and telephone service.

  2. Internet Access: is for Internet related services like Email and VOIP

  3. Internal connections: This is for all Eligible hardware. The PVBX system would be filed in this section. Simply request a PVBX and a Codec.

  4. Basic maintenance: This for service contracts for any eligible Hardware.

The 470 application will automatically be posted on the USAC web site to allow vendors to bid for the service you applied for. After successfully completing a 470, you will receive a Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter in the mail.

All of the four different types of services can be applied for on a single 470. If you realized later you missed a service, simply file another 470 to add the missed service. Filing a 2nd or 3rd 470 does not cancel or change the previous 470s already filed.

Step 2:

After waiting a minimum of 28 days, file a Form 471. All 471 muts be filed before the deadline (typically mid February) This form will detail the service(s) and vendors you have chosen. You will need a signed and dated contract from every vendor along with a detailed bid that shows the make, model and prices of the various elements of the bid. Make sure the acceptance date with your signature is after the 28 day window has closed and before the date you file the 471.

The PVBX and Codec contract will be filed under Internal Connections and will require a detailed bid. If you need help with make and model numbers we are here to assist.

Upon receipt of the form, you will receive a Form 471 Receipt acknowledgement Letter thru the mail from The SLC.

It is recommended you file a separate 471 for the first two categories (Telecommunications and Internet Access) and a second form 471 for Internal Connection and Basic Maintenance requests. If you file all of them under a single 471 you’re Telecommunications and Internet Access requests will be delayed up to 9 months while waiting on funding decision on the other two. And agin you can file as many 471 as you want. So if you make a mistake file another 471.

Funding Process

Step 3:

Once your Form 471 has been reviewed, a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) will be sent to you and the chosen vendor (service provider) stating whether your application has been approved or denied. For internal Connections this can take ˝ a year or more.

You have 60 days to appeal if the service is denied.

Step 4:

Once you receive your FCDL (Form 471), file a Form 486. This is a Receipt of Service Confirmation Form that lists the funding request for the service(s) once it has begun. The 486 should be filed with in 120 days of installation otherwise some, or all of the of the funding, may be lost. Services can not start until July 1st or later and not before receiving an approved FCDl.

Reimbursement Process

Step 5:

File the invoice form chosen -- either the Form 472 or Form 474.

  • Form 472 or Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR): Schools pays the entire invoice to the Service Provider and then USAC pays the discounted amount to the school.

  • Form 474 or Service Provider Invoice Form (SPI): Service provider receives payment from USAC for services School is billed by the service provider only for the amount not eligible for discount.

References

Form 470

You can obtain a copy of and instructions for completing this form at:
http://www.sl.universalservice.org/form.

Tools to assist in preparing Application Form 470:

Mailing Addresses for Form 470

Complete applications should be mailed for Manual Filing. Only the signed Block 5 Certification Page should be mailed for electronic filing. It is recommended that you send these forms by express delivery or U.S. Postal Service Return Receipt Requested.
SLD-Form 470
c/o Ms. Smith
3833 Greenway Drive
Lawrence, Kansas 66046-5444

Form 471

You can obtain a copy of and instructions for completing this form at:
http://www.sl.universalservice.org/form

An online navigation guide for the From 471 is available here:
http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/Onlinenav.asp

Calculating Your Discount

If you are applying for E-rate discounts on eligible services, you must calculate the percentage discount that you and the entities you represent are eligible to receive. For more information about calculating your discount rate, check this site.
http://www.sl.universalservice.org/Reference/

Tools to assist in preparing Application Form 471:

Electronic Filing Internet Address for Form 470

Select this site to access the online application form.
http://www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp

Mailing Addresses for Form 471

Complete applications should be mailed for Manual Filing. Only Item 25, description(s) of services, and the signed Block 6 certification (unless using a PIN to do online Block 6 certification) should be mailed for electronic filing. Applications should be postmarked by February 12, 2009. These forms should be sent by express delivery or U.S. Postal Service Return Receipt Requested
SLD-Form 471
c/o Ms. Smith
3833 Greenway Drive
Lawrence, Kansas 66046-5444

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