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January 8, 2018


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 (516-801-7810), or through our Contact Us web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central website.

FY 2018:

The FY 2018 Form 471 Application Window will:

  • Open Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 12:00 noon EST.
  • Close Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

FY 2017:

Wave 32 for FY 2017 was released Thursday, January 4th, for a total of $10.5 million. Cumulative national funding through Wave 32 is $2.03 billion.

Wave 33, approving 13 small hurricane relief applications filed during the Second FY 2017 Application Window, was released on Saturday, January 6th. A regular Wave 34 is expected to be released Friday, January 12th. 

Entity Profile Update Deadline:

Important note: On January 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST, USAC will lock every applicant’s EPC entity profile for the duration of the Application Window. Any changes applicants need to make in preparation for the FY 2018 application cycle — most importantly, student enrollment and eligibility data — should be made before these profiles are locked.

The easiest way to check existing profile data within EPC is to start on the basic district page and click on the “Discount Rate” tab.

EPC Discount Rate Tab

The initial “Requested Discount Rate” display for a school district shows only the district-wide student totals and the resulting discount rates. To see the student data for the individual district schools, click on the “SHOW ENTITIES” button.

EPC Requested Discount Rate

To update an individual entity, we suggest opening each school link separately in a new tab. This will maintain the school list page thus avoiding having to repeat the school search process after each update.

If you’re curious as to when the entity data for a specific school was last updated, you may be able to see a history of any changes made by clicking on the “Modifications” tab. As discussed in our newsletter of January 1st, however, we have found that this EPC feature often does not work. A more reliable source for determining the last modification date is to use the non-EPC Entity Download Tool (also discussed in our last newsletter).

Note that the entity list displayed on the “Requested Discount Rate” page includes only schools. To check or change any information on non-instructional facilities (“NIFs”) or annexes, start on the district page and follow the “Related Entities” path through EPC.

Upcoming 2018 E-Rate Dates:

January 8 FY 2017 Form 486 deadline for funding committed in Wave 15. Upcoming Form 486 deadlines include:

Wave 16         01/15/2018
Wave 17         01/22/2018
Wave 18         01/29/2018

Applicants missing these (or earlier) deadlines should watch carefully for “Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters” in EPC. The Reminders will afford applicants with 15-day extensions to submit their Form 486s without penalty.

January 10 FY 2018 EPC Administrative Window closes. As of 11:59 p.m. EST, EPC entity profiles will be locked. Applicants will not be able to update their profiles (e.g., with student NSLP data) until after the close of the Form 471 Application Window.
January 11 FY 2018 Form 471 Application Window opens at 12:00 noon EST.
March 22 FY 2018 Form 471 Application Window closes at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

FCC Decision Watch:

The FCC issued its yearend set of “streamlined,” precedent-based decisions (DA 17-1217). Applicants facing similar problems as addressed in these decisions may garner useful information by carefully reading the additional FCC explanations found in the footnotes. The original appeals and waiver requests can be found online in the FCC’s Search for Filings.

In summary, last week’s FCC decisions:

  1. Dismissed:
    1. Two Requests for Waiver deemed moot because the invoicing records indicated that the applicants had been fully compensated.
    2. Two Petitions for Reconsideration, one for failing to provide any arguments not already fully considered by the FCC, and the other for not being submitted within the 30-day Reconsideration filing window.
  2. Granted:
    1. One Request for Waiver for a Form 471 filed late, but within 14 days of the close of the Window.
    2. One Request for Waiver for the extension of the deadline to complete and use a self-provisioned network.
    3. One Request for Waiver of the 60-day appeal deadline because the “late-filed appeal would never have been necessary absent an error on the part of USAC.”
    4. One Request for Waiver of the appeal deadline missed by only a “few days.”
  3. Denied:
    1. Seven Requests for Waiver for invoice deadline extensions.
    2. Nine Requests for Waiver for late-filed Form 471 applications filed more than two weeks late.

E-Rate Training Material:

USAC’s annual fall training sessions were held this year in Charlotte, Minneapolis, Portland, and Washington DC. Presentation slides for these training sessions are available online. USAC also did a webinar earlier this month entitled “Applicant Training Highlights.”  Other useful instructional videos and webinar recordings may be found in USAC’s Online Learning Library and at EducationSuperHighway’s Webinars site.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of January 5, 2018, highlights and discusses the following pivotal first quarter 2018 dates:

January 11 Opening day of the FY 2018 Form 471 Application Window.
January 29 Invoicing deadline for FY 2016 non-recurring services OR the deadline for requesting a 120-day extension of that invoicing deadline.
February 22 Last possible date for posting a Form 470 intended for use with an FY 2018 Form 471.
February 26 Extended invoicing deadline for FY 2016 recurring services.
March 22 Closing day of the FY 2018 Form 471 Application Window.