After completing the Funding Request key information section of FCC Form 471, you’ll arrive at the “FRN Contract” part of the form. If you did not sign a contract, choose the “Tariff” or “Month-to-month” button.
As a reminder:
- Tariff means the services are listed at specific prices that have been approved by a state public utility commission. An example is “basic landline service — $12.40/month.”
- Month-to-month means services are billed monthly, and not provided under a contract or tariff.
Add competitive bidding details
Start by entering the number of bids you received.
Reminder: If you only received one bid, you can accept it if it’s cost-effective. If you did not receive any bids, you can solicit bids from service providers, including your current provider.
For the question “Was an FCC Form 470 posted for the product and/or services you are requesting?” for most applicants, the answer will be “Yes.”
Reminder: There is only one exemption to competitive bidding, for commercially available, business-class Internet services. If you meet the four criteria, you do not need to post an FCC Form 470 or participate in competitive bidding.
If the answer if “Yes”, you will need to associate the form with your funding request. Search for the FCC Form 470 within the EPC system using the “Search” button. Then, scroll down and select the checkbox next to the FCC Form 470 you wish to cite for this request.
On the next screen, “Service Provider,” enter your account number (optional), then search for your service provider by SPIN (service provider identification number) or its name. Press the “search” button, then select the checkbox next to your service provider in the list below. Then, press “continue.”
Tip: If you cannot locate your service provider, use the SPIN Search Tool call your service provider and ask for its SPIN, or call USAC at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.
Next, add the service start date. As we mentioned in the post about contracts, most services do not begin before July 1 (the first day of the funding year). But, some Category One components can be installed before July 1 in order to provide recurring services starting July 1. For more detail, please visit the Starting Services page on the E-rate Program website.
Next, add the “service end” date. For most tariffed and month-to-month services, it’s June 30 (the last day of the funding year). Then, press “Continue.”
For the question, “is there a statute, rule, or other restriction which prohibits publication of the specific pricing information for this contract?” most applicants should select “no.”
Price transparency is an important, recent update to the E-rate Program. Next year, schools/libraries will be able to see what prices other applicants pay for E-rate funded services.
In very limited cases, prices can remain confidential. If you answer “yes,” you must submit a significant amount of documentation that will be reviewed for consideration.
Fiber request key information
If your FRN is for data transmission or Internet access, the next screen asks whether the FRN includes a request for dark fiber request or special (self-provisioned) construction. For most applicants, the answer is “No.”
For the small group of applicants who are requesting funding for fiber or special construction, you can find more information on the FAQs: dark and lit fiber page or contact the E-rate Program Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 and ask for assistance.
In the narrative section, write a brief explanation of the products and services you are requesting. You can also use this section to provide any information about your request that isn’t specified on the form, or that could help the USAC during application review.
In the narrative, you may want to include information like:
- A general description of the funding request:
- “Internet access for new library branch”
- “Cellular voice service for 100 employees at 5 schools”
- Any information that’s not immediately clear from looking at your cost calculation:
- If you put in an ineligible dollar amount, which services you removed,
- If you excluded any facilities from the request,
- If you’re requesting cellular services, specify the breakdown between voice service (which is eligible) and data service (which is not).
After entering your request description, click “Save & Continue.”
Once you’ve entered your funding request and purchasing information, you’ll need to add line items to your funding request (FRN). In the next post, we’ll show you how to enter Category One line items.
Navigation tip: To edit funding request (FRN) information, select the checkbox next to its FRN number, then press the “Edit FRN” button on the lower-right. If you click on the FRN number, it will prompt you to add line items.