E-Rate Newsflash Gets an Issue Number
Starting with this issue, the E-rate Newsflash will be assigned an issue number. The issue number will indicate the year in which each Newsflash was distributed (first two digits) and the number of the issue within each calendar year (last two digits). For example, this issue is the fifth E-rate Newsflash of 2017 (Issue 17-05).
FCC Form 486 Deadline Reminders
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 486 is the form filed after receiving a positive Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL). The FCC Form 486 acknowledges, among other things, that the local educational agency (LEA) is receiving the services and that invoices submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) can be paid. In short, this form advises USAC that you are ready to start receiving your E-rate discounts.
The FCC Form 486 must be certified no later than 120 days after the service start date or 120 days after the date of the FCDL, whichever is later. Filing late can result in a reduction in funding; the later the filing date, the greater the reduction. The Deadlines Tool at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/deadlines/default.aspx can be used to calculate your FCC Form 486 deadline. Missing this deadline can also cause delayed reimbursements. LEAs are encouraged to be mindful of this, and all E-rate deadlines.
USAC provides a more in-depth discussion of the FCC Form 486 on the Schools and Libraries Program (SLP) Web page at http://usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/default.aspx.
EAs participating in E-rate can choose between two methods to invoice USAC to receive discounts.
Method 1: Applicants file FCC Form 472, the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, if they have paid the service provider in full for the services and want to be reimbursed for the discount amount.
USAC will review the invoice and process a payment to the applicant if payment is approved. Billed entities will receive payment directly to their bank account. In order to receive direct BEAR payments, the applicant must have completed an FCC Form 498.
Method 2: Service providers file FCC Form 474, the Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, if they have provided discounted bills to their customer and want to be reimbursed for the discount amount.
USAC will review the invoice and process a payment to the service provider if payment is approved. Note that applicants are required to pay the non-discount portion of the cost of the services.
Important Note: Services that qualify for the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) discount require the use of the SPI method. LEAs that have received their FCDL should communicate with the Service Provider as soon as possible to establish the SPI discount method. Some service providers require a minimum of 120 days to process the SPI request before discounts appear on the LEA’s invoice. LEAs should communicate with the Service Provider no later than June 1, 2017, in order to ensure all discounts are applied prior to the October 28, 2017, Invoicing Deadline.
USAC provides a more in-depth discussion of the two invoicing methods on the Schools and Libraries Program (SLP) Web page at http://usac.org/sl/applicants/step06/default.aspx.
Additional Information & Support
The Schools and Libraries Program (SLP), commonly known as E-rate, provides timely information and insight through their Weekly News Brief. You can sign up to receive these communications by visiting the SLP’s Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/Default.aspx.
Subscribe to the California Department of Education (CDE) E-rate e-mail listserv by sending a "blank" message to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to unsubscribe from the CDE E-rate listserv, send a "blank" message to email@example.com.
As always, we are here to help if you have questions or need support. Members of the CDE E-rate team are available to assist by e-mail at E-RATE@cde.ca.gov.