E-Rate 471 Tips and Tricks

Now’s the time to fill out and submit your E-Rate 471 form. But what if you still have questions about this annually-required submission?

Join the LTC’s Mindy Fiscus for an overview of Form 471 and its role in the larger E-Rate submission process. This webinar will include a walkthrough of Form 471, including minor changes and navigation tricks for expediting the completion process. Participants will also get an opportunity to see the level of detail required to meet the FCC and USAC submission requirements.

E-Rate Bid Evaluations and Contracts

A key part of the E-Rate process is the selection of a vendor to provide eligible E-Rate services. This session will guide applicants through the steps of developing and implementing audit-proof evaluations that reliably select the best vendor for your needs. Participants will be provided sample bid evaluations, award/non-award letters, and tips for handling bid protests and post-award meeting requests. This session will also provide applicants with key tips for developing contracts that not only meet the requirements for E-Rate, but also protect their school or library’s interests.

E-Rate Cat 2 Budgets

The FCC has made permanent the “Category 2 budget” approach that was adopted as part of the 2014 Modernization Orders. This is a very positive development for applicants because it allows for more efficient long-term planning and less administrative burden. These changes will also streamline the review process and help incentivize smaller applicants to access their Category Two funding.

This webinar will focus on calculating a Category 2 budget for your district and identifying E-Rate eligible needs for the coming year. That way, you can be certain that you are using available funds as efficiently as possible.

E-Rate 470 Walkthrough

The Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries (better known as “E-Rate”) is a federal program geared toward helping educational institutions obtain affordable internet access and infrastructure. To participate, a school must identify the goods and services needed to meet their educational demands, and submit those requests to a government-facilitated vendor bidding process.

This bidding process includes several steps, the first of which involves submitting Form 470. Many first-time applicants (and even some returning applicants) face challenges while completing this form, which is why the LTC is offering this overview of E-Rate Form 470.

In this free webinar, you’ll learn all about this form, including tips and guidance for submitting the form on time. Participants in this webinar will also have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain insights from Mindy Fiscus, the LTC’s E-Rate expert.

E-Rate 470 Walk-Through

The E-rate 470 form opens the bidding process for services related to internet access and network equipment that schools and libraries need to operate in today’s educational environment. This webinar will provide an overview of the form itself and will provide time for Q&A related to the program and this form in particular.

E-Rate Updates

Come find out what the latest information is for the federal E-rate program! This webinar will focus on the most current information on Category 2 changes, Eligible Services, and state programs that support and leverage state E-rate funding.

E-rate Support for Additional Bandwidth

The FCC and USAC opened a new 471 Window to specifically address requests for financial assistance towards immediate increases in bandwidth for the current school year,  July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Districts that find themselves in an immediate need for additional bandwidth due to remote learning needs as a result of COVID-19 are encouraged to take advantage of this funding opportunity. This opportunity is limited to district internet access as we are still awaiting federal action on requests for relief as it pertains to student home access for remote learning.

New Form 471s can be filed until October 16, 2020 and will be considered retroactive to the beginning of this funding year (service back to July 1, 2020). Districts are asked to provide documentation as a new contract in the EPC system. This process is outside of the 471 form.

A previously recorded step-by-step is available on our LTC youtube channel HERE. Interested districts must then file a new 471 Form requesting the additional bandwidth. Only Category 1 requests are eligible for this new window, and are intended to amend existing service requests.

Interested districts MUST include the following in the narrative of their new Funding Request:

  • Provide 471 number and FRN number of EXISTING service
  • Provide a narrative stating that an increase in bandwidth is necessary due to the impacts of COVID-19. (Providing more specific rationale of demand ie. increased devices, hybrid learning environments, increased use of video services etc. is also encouraged.)
  • Provide NEW additional service starting date (the first day of the month for new service) in the contract detail and FRN detail screens and in the narrative
  • Provide calculations of cost per Mbp for both EXISTING and NEW service. (example: $1000/month for 500Mb= $2/Mb) 

Please contact Digital Access Coordinator/ IL State E-rate Coordinator, Melinda Fiscus (mfiscus@ltcillinois.org) for assistance with the program.