This year, the E-rate Program application filing window for library and consortium applicants is longer than the filing window for schools.
For the next few weeks on the blog, we’ll be covering special guidance for libraries and consortia. We’ll be back with blog posts for all types of applicants once the program starts to release its first funding commitments.
Why libraries and consortia need more time than schools
The reason for the longer filing period is that library and consortium applicants’ discounts are based on information from their local school district. And the discount information is not available to libraries/consortia until their related school district enters its discount information into the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
The filing window for schools and school districts ended on May 26. School districts’ discount rates are now locked into EPC, and available to related libraries and consortia. This allows us to:
- Complete library/consortium applications with the newly-entered discount information from the related school district, or
- Identify libraries and consortia that still have missing discount information and fix it using a manual override.
Try applying now; don’t wait until July 21
On May 26, the discount rates for school districts were “locked in,” so now it will be easier for many library and consortium applicants to file their FCC Forms 471.
Because library and consortium applicants rely on school data, some may encounter problems when they reach the “discount calculation” section of their form. This could be because the related school district did not update its student counts or is missing key information in its profile. But for some library/consortium applicants, problems won’t become apparent until they try to submit the final form.
Because of this, we recommend filing your form right now, so you can uncover any problems as soon as possible. If you do, contact USAC right away; we’ll help you identify and address any issues preventing you from completing your application.
In some cases (especially for consortia), there’s more than one issue that’s preventing you from completing the form. Please try completing your application well before July 21, so if there are multiple problems, USAC has sufficient time to research and help you through them!