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After you close your competitive bidding process, you can evaluate the bids received and choose the bid that is the most cost-effective. You may consider as many factors in your evaluation as you want, but the price of the E-rate eligible products and services must be included as a factor and must be weighted more heavily than any other single factor. Remember that your FCC Form 470 and your Request for Proposals (RFP), if you issued one, must both have been publicly available for the same 28-day period as the FCC Form 470 before you can close your competitive bidding process.
If you received one bid, and that bid is cost-effective, you should memorialize that fact with a memo or email for your records. If you did not receive any bids, you can solicit bids. If you currently receive service from a service provider, you can ask your current provider to submit information in response to your FCC Form 470.
To evaluate the bids you receive, you must construct an evaluation. You decide what factors you want to consider in your evaluation and how important each factor is to you. You can use as few or as many evaluation factors as you like, and you can assign percentages or points to the factors you use to reflect their relative importance. However, you must include the price of the eligible products and services as a factor and that factor must be weighted more heavily than any other single factor.
Preparing a Bid Evaluation Matrix helps you evaluate bids and also provides documentation of the process you followed to select your service provider. You can receive services:
If you intend to receive services under contract, remember that that contract must have been preceded by the filing of an FCC Form 470 (NOTE: If you have an existing contract that was not signed as a result of posting an FCC Form 470, you can post an FCC Form 470 for the next funding year and consider your existing contract as a bid response. Remember, however, that you must evaluate any other bids received as well, and your existing contract may not be the most cost-effective solution.). The entity that filed the FCC Form 470 must also have followed the Schools and Libraries Program’s competitive bidding rules and all applicable state and local contract and procurement rules and regulations.
Once you have chosen your service provider(s) and signed a contract, if applicable, you can file an FCC Form 471 to apply for discounts as soon as the FCC Form 471 application filing window opens.