FCC Form 471, the Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form, is the second form in the application process. It’s how you provide USAC with information about the services you’re requesting funding for, and the discount level you are eligible for.
At this point in the application process, you are here:
Before you start
Before you start FCC Form 471, you should already have:
- Set up an account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and assigned user permissions,
- Submitted an FCC Form 470 (there are some exemptions to this),
- Waited at least 28 days while potential vendors bid to provide service to you, and
Evaluated the bids and selected the most cost-effective offer
- Signed a contract with the vendor, if you selected contracted services (some schools/libraries choose tariffed or month-to-month services and don’t need a contract)
- Updated the connectivity questions in your school/library profile (consortia do not need to answer connectivity questions)
And before you start, know that you are encouraged to ask your service provider for help on FCC Form 471, and USAC recommends it! After you sign the contract, you can contact your service provider for assistance with your form.
Background info, and structure of funding requests
To report the services purchased and request E-rate Program discounts, schools/libraries file the FCC Form 471. Each school/library can file several forms. On each form, you can list several funding request numbers (FRNs), and each FRN can have multiple line items.
FCC Form 471 – Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form
Many schools/libraries will file two FCC Forms 471: one for Category One Services (Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, and Voice Services) and a separate form for Category Two services (Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections).* It is not possible to submit a single form for both categories of service.
Funding Request / Funding Request Number (FRN)
The “funding request” is the section of FCC Form 471 where you list the products/services you’re requesting E-rate Program discounts for, and the service provider you selected.
Each form can include several funding requests. Each funding request is identified and referred to by its Funding Request Number (FRN). At a minimum, add a separate FRN for each service type, each service provider identification number (SPIN; also known as the 498 ID), each FCC Form 470 used, and type of purchasing agreement (contract, tariff, or month-to-month).
Some school districts, library systems, or consortia with large applications may choose to split out their FRNs further for record keeping purposes.
FRN Line Items
Line items are how a school/library reports details about each specific product and service included on a funding request. Line items include information about equipment, manufacturers, product type, cost and quantity of each service, etc. You should add a separate line item for each type of connection or service (e.g., local phone service, wireless data service, T-1, etc.) you are purchasing.
Start your FCC Form 471
Let’s get started! Here is how to begin an FCC Form 471:
- Log into the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
- From the landing page, select the “FCC Form 471” link in the upper-right corner
Press “save and continue” to move onto the next screen. If you exit a partially-complete form, you can find it on your landing page under the “tasks” list and resume your work in the place where you left off.
EPC navigation tips
Here are some tips to help new users navigate the system:
- Click the USAC logo any time to return to your landing page.
- Use the buttons at the bottom of EPC to move through the form. The buttons read “Back” and “Save & Continue.” Do not use your browser’s “Back and “Forward” buttons, it can cause data loss.
- If you exit a partially-completed form, you can find it again on your landing page in the “Tasks” list.
- If a page is greyed out/uneditable, look for a “Manage” button to enable editing. Or, go back to your profile to edit information that is populating automatically.
Quick filing guides and more FCC Form 471 resources are available in the FY2016 Filing Window Headquarters. Next, we’ll review the Basic and Entity Information sections of the FCC Form 471.
* Consortia are likely to submit several FCC Forms 471, because they can choose a select portion of their members to include on each form.
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