E-Rate Newsflash – August 21, 2015

E-Rate
  Friday, August 21, 2015

California Teleconnect Fund (CTF)

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), administrator of the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) program, has recently adopted changes to the CTF program. Below is a summary of the adopted changes:

  1.     As of October 1, 2015, wireless data plans in schools and libraries will no longer be eligible for a CTF discount.
  1.     The CTF discount will be equal to the E-rate discount, up to 50 percent. For example, an LEA with an E-rate discount of 40 percent will now receive a CTF discount of 40 percent. The CPUC is expected to issue an Administrative Letter explaining the process in the near future.

The full Order with the changes in discounts summarized in Appendix C can be obtained at the CPUC’s Web page at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?DocFormat=ALL&DocID=153445700.

E-rate 2013–14 and 2014–15 Applications Pending a Decision

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has invited state education agencies to alert them to 2013–14 or 2014–15 applications that are still awaiting a decision. If you have one or more applications such as this, we encourage you to provide the following information to us by e-mail at E-rate@cde.ca.gov.

Subject line: Application Pending Decision

LEA E-rate Entity Number:

LEA Form 471 Application Number:

Form 471 Application Year:

We will follow up with USAC to review the status of the application in the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) process.

New E-rate Productivity Center

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has instructed the USAC to transition to a system that is fully online, eliminating the option to submit paper forms. To accomplish this, USAC has developed the new E-rate Productivity Center (EPC), which is commonly referred to as “epic”.

The EPC is now the required means of submitting the FCC Form 470 and Form 471 for the 2016–2017 Funding Year. Eventually, all FCC forms related to E-rate will be accessible only through the EPC portal.

In late June 2015, USAC began its outreach to applicants, providing instruction on how to set up the applicant EPC portal. This outreach was done through e-mail and was sent to the Account Administrator for each Applicant. The Account Administrator was identified as the last person who signed the FCC Form 471 for the 2015–2016 Funding Year. It is important for the Account Administrator to set up the EPC portal as soon as possible to ensure it is working properly and that necessary rights have been assigned to appropriate users. Once established, the Applicant can begin filing forms related to the 2016–2017 Funding Year. 

Please note:

  •          If the last person who signed the FCC Form 471 for the 2015–16 Funding Year is no longer with your organization, or if that person is still with your organization and has not received an e-mail from USAC regarding the EPC, please contact the Client Service Bureau by phone at 888-203-8100.
  •          When setting up users who will have access to the portal, it is important to be aware of the various roles within the system and assign users appropriately.  For example, a Consultant should be assigned the role as ‘Consultant’ and not as a ‘User’.  The ‘Users’ role should only be assigned to those individuals that are employed by your district or school. If the Account Administrator is unable to set up the ‘Consultant’ rights, then they should contact the Client Service Bureau by phone at 888-203-8100.

For instructions on how to set up and manage the EPC portal and for Frequently Asked Questions, please view the EPC on the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/e-rate-productivity-center/default.aspx.

Upcoming E-rate and California Teleconnect Fund Training 

The K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) is pleased to announce the Fall 2015 E-rate training dates available to all local educational agencies (LEAs), libraries and service providers in California. The training will be a full day seminar covering the basics to advanced application of E-rate rules and guidelines. The training sessions will also be available via Webinar and via video conferencing at various locations. 

Note: All training sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include a one hour lunch break.

To register for one or more training sessions, please visit the K12HSN’s E-rate Web page at http://www.k12hsn.org/programs/erate/trainings.php.

Trainings Offered by USAC

USAC is offering training in various locations across the country with the closest being in Los Angeles on November 5, 2015. LEAs are encouraged to attend one of these trainings, if possible. Attending the USAC training will further aid LEAs in navigating recent changes to the E-rate program and may help them formulate questions in the California context.

To learn more about the USAC trainings please visit the Schools and Libraries Training and Outreach Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/about/outreach/default.aspx.

Schools and Libraries Division Weekly News Briefs on E-rate

The SLD provides timely instruction and insight through their Weekly News Brief. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to sign up to receive these communications by visiting the SLD’s Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/Default.aspx.

   
If you have any questions, please contact the California Department of Education (CDE) Educational Data Management Division by e-mail at E-RATE@cde.ca.gov.