E-Rate Newsflash - June 22, 2016

CDE
  Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Upcoming E-rate Deadlines

Please note the following upcoming E-rate deadlines. More information follows in the sections below.

October 28, 2016 – deadline to submit FCC Form 472 for recurring services received between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016

January 27, 2017 – deadline to submit an FCC Form 472 for non-recurring services received between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016

E-rate:  Year End Processes

The Funding Year 2016 E-rate Form 471 deadline was later than in past years. The traditional lull before the next deadline (i.e., the invoicing deadline) is virtually non-existent. Now is the time for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to begin preparing for the October 28, 2016 invoicing deadline. The deadline affects monthly recurring services that were received between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, where the LEA paid the invoice in full and did not receive E-rate credits on the Service Provider’s invoice. We are emphasizing this invoicing deadline now because of rule changes that make the deadline and the one-time extension unforgiving.

The invoicing process is the biggest change in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Modernization Order for E-rate. Beginning July 1, 2016, LEAs will receive reimbursements by means of an Automated Clearing House (ACH) directly from the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC). LEAs will also no longer require the signature of the Service Provider when completing the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form.

In order to comply with this new process LEAs must submit the FCC Form 498 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) as soon as possible. Final processing of the Form 498 requires engagement from USAC which adds to the amount of time required to complete the process. Reimbursements will not be disbursed until this form is completed.

FCC Form 498

We encourage LEAs to refer to the May 20, 2016 SLD News Brief at   http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=696for detailed instructions on how to access and complete the FCC Form 498. Please note the following information required to complete the Form 498:

  1. Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  2. Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
  3. Federal Communications Commission Registration Number (FCC RN)
  4. Bank account information:  bank name, routing number and account number
  5. Cancelled check or bank statement. This will be provided to the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) when they reach out to the applicant. In this way USAC can verify the owner of the bank account. Please note: The bank account information provided on the form cannot be for a bank account owned by a consultant.

Once the Form 498 is completed, LEAs can move forward with the invoice process.

FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form

LEAs that complete the FCC Form 472 prior to July 1, 2016 will be subject to the “old” way of processing. The “old” way requires the Service Provider’s signature on the form and requires reimbursements to be routed through the Service Provider before the LEA receives it.

The “old” way will be discontinued on July 1, 2016. This will affect any pending FCC Forms 472, causing them to be cancelled. The LEA will then be required to start over using the new method.

The FCC Form 472, whether using the “old” method or the new, will not be completed within EPC. Instead, LEAs will access the form from the BEAR Invoice System Login at https://www2.sl.universalservice.org/bear/login.aspx. LEAs will need the following access the form:

  1. Billed Entity Number (BEN)
  2. Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  3. Email address of PIN holder
  4. Last name of PIN holder

Those LEA representatives that do not have a PIN should contact the Client Services Bureau (CSB) as soon as possible in order to obtain one. The CSB can be reached at 888-203-8100.

FCC Forms 472 Deadline

The deadline to submit an FCC Form 472 for recurring services received between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 is October 28, 2016. Examples of services include, but are not limited to:

  • Telecommunications services (local and long distance, high speed data lines, etc)
  • Internet access
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services
  • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections

The deadline to submit an FCC Form 472 for non-recurring services received between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 is January 27, 2017. Examples of services include, but are not limited to:

  • Installation charges associated with Category 1 services (if such charges were identified on the FCC Form 471 as a non-recurring charge).
  • Internal Connections

In the event that an LEA needs more time to complete the FCC Form 472 at any point during the year, the LEA may request a one-time extension of 120 days. This request must be filed before the original deadline has passed (see above). Instructions on how to file this request will be addressed in a future News Flash.

SLD News Briefs

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.