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April 19, 2021


The E-Rate Central News for the Week is prepared by E-Rate Central. E-Rate Central specializes in providing consulting, compliance, and forms processing services to E-rate applicants. To learn more about our services, please contact us by phone (516-801-7804), fax (516-801-7814), or through our Contact Us web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central website.

FY 2021:

Wave 1 for FY 2021 was released on Friday, April 16th, for a total of $681 million.  The first wave last year was also $681 million but was issued more than a month later due to a pandemic-delayed close of the application window.

FY 2020:

Wave 51 for FY 2020 was released on Thursday, April 15th, for a total of $2.68 million.  Cumulative commitments are $2.31 billion. Nationwide, USAC has now funded 98% of the FY 2020 applications representing 86% of the requested funding.

Upcoming E-Rate Dates:

April 22     Form 486 deadline for FY 2020 covering funding committed in Wave 35.  More generally, the Form 486 deadline is 120 days from the FCDL date or the service start date (typically July 1st), whichever is later.  Upcoming Form 486 deadlines are:
Wave 36            04/30/2021
Wave 37            05/07/2021
Wave 38            05/14/2021
Wave 39            05/21/2021
Wave 40            05/28/2021
April 23 Deadline for filing reply comments on the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”).  E-Rate Central’s reply comments were filed Sunday indicating a broad consensus for funding caps in the initial application window.
April 27 FCC webinar on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (“EBB”) program for consumers and outreach partners.  The webinar, scheduled the same week that we expect EBB benefits to begin, will provide an overview of the program, eligibility information, and enrollment procedures.
May 10 Legislative deadline for the FCC to promulgate regulations for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”).

Funds For Learning’s 11th Annual E-Rate Survey:

For the past decade, Funds For Learning (“FFL”) has been conducting a nationwide survey asking schools and libraries to contribute their opinions and experiences regarding the E-rate program.  These surveys have become an increasing important source of information for Congress, the FCC, and USAC to help them evaluate the E-rate program.  E-Rate Central believes that FFL’s survey is an extremely important vehicle, particularly for policymakers, to understand the needs of the E-rate community.  A copy of the 2020 survey results, as provided to the FCC, is worth reviewing to understand the survey’s importance.  We urge you to participate.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The survey is available at  The survey consists of 32 primary questions, plus 6 more optional demographic items.  It should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Survey results are completely confidential.  Only aggregate data is reported.
  • Funds For Learning, which like E-Rate Central is an E-rate consultant, does not use survey responses as a marketing tool.  Were we not confident in the integrity of FFL’s survey process, we would not be encouraging you to participate.

Last year, responses were received from approximately 10% of the E-rate applicant base.  Given the importance of this survey to the entire E-rate community — applicants, service providers, administrators, and particularly policymakers — we would like to see even greater participation this year.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of April 16, 2021 describes a new USAC Open Data resource to be posted this week that will provide information on invoice line items (BEAR and SPI) for all funding years beginning with FY 2016.  The News Brief answers the following basic questions on USAC’s Open Data platform, but does not explicitly discuss the new invoicing dataset:

  • What is Open Data?
  • What is a dataset?
  • How do I know which data I will find in a dataset?
  • Does each dataset come with an associated tool for manipulating data?
  • How do I learn more about Open Data?
  • Where do I go if I have questions?