What to expect from File Along with Me

“File Along with Me” uses a step-by-step approach to help schools and libraries, regardless of their experience level, complete their application for E-rate Program funding. Here’s a little preview about what to expect from the blog…

A new step in every post

We’ll post 2-3 times per week with specific tasks to get started with, and then apply to, the E-rate Program. We’re aiming to make each step as simple and easy to follow as possible!

The blog also serves as a schedule for managing your application. We *hope* you’ll complete each post’s task as soon as you can, so you can identify problems early and get help from USAC if you need it.

Get your EPC account up and running

The “E-rate Productivity Center” (EPC) is the program’s new online filing portal, which will streamline the application process and make it more secure. Because it’s the portal’s inaugural year, applicants need to invest some time upfront to set up their school/library’s profile and user accounts. We’ll walk you through how to do that. Once everything’s set up, it will be easier and faster to complete your application this year and in future years, too.

Applying for discounts!

Once you’re account is set up, we’ll focus on the “Applying for Discounts” step in the application process, also known as filing FCC Forms 470 and 471. Many applicants get bogged down in the details of completing these forms, or run into problems if they wait until the last minute.

Don’t wait until the last minute! Instead, file along with us and complete a step each week, so you won’t be left scrambling.


  1. Thank you for the information.

  2. Can you post where the connectivity questions are to fill out for category 1 data transmission and/or internet access category of service? I went through the whole 471 form and got to the end and now have an error. Where it tells me to fill in the questions, I can’t click on any of them to open the portal to fill in the answers. Is anyone else having this issue?

    • Hello Lisa! We’ll cover connectivity questions in a later blog post.
      In EPC, the connectivity questions are part of your organization’s profile, not the FCC Form 471. We recommend completing them before starting FCC Form 471. To complete them now, go back to your entity’s profile (Landing Page > Select your school/library from “My Entities” > Related Actions > Manage Connectivity Questions) and update the information there.
      We have a video, called “Manage Connectivity Questions,” that covers this: http://usac.org/sl/about/outreach/fcc-form-471-video-series.aspx, and it’s also in the 471 “Quick Filing Guides,” which you can find here: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step03/form-471.aspx.

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