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.