Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

Latest News rss-feed

9/30/2016News Brief Issued


The 09/30/2016 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

9/30/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, October 1


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 6:00 AM ET – until completion of the System Maintenance, Saturday, October 1 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/26/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Wednesday, September 28


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 3:30 AM ET – until completion of the System Maintenance, Wednesday, September 28 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/26/2016Sept. 27 Service Provider Webinar Canceled


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program weekly webinar for service providers scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2016, is canceled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

9/22/2016Special Edition News Brief - Update on EPC Known Issues


The 09/22/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

9/21/2016Resolved: FY2016 Wave 13 Data Not Yet Available in FRN Status Tool


Funding Year 2016 Wave 13 funding commitment data is not yet available in the FRN Status Tool. USAC is working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/21/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) System Issues


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is intermittently unavailable due to known system issues. During this time, users may experience system slowness, be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via EPC. USAC is currently working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/20/2016USAC Unveils FRN Status Tool


USAC launched a new tool to display information about funding request numbers (FRNs) for FY2016 and future funding years.

See the tool! Funding Request Number (FRN) Status Tool
FRN Status Tool instructions

The FRN Status Tool, has a look and feel similar to that of the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), but it provides more choices than the DRT of information that can be retrieved.

Functionality Roll-Out
This tool will be rolled out in two phases:

  • Phase I: "Standard Report": The first phase, which we just launched, follows the "Standard Report" format of the current DRT – a specific set of fields that is always returned based on the search criteria selected. This is the version of the FRN Status Tool that is available now. 
  • Phase II: "Select Data Points": The second phase will follow the "Select Data Points" format in the current DRT, which allows the user to select one, some, or all of the fields from a menu of specific fields – again, based on the search criteria selected. This version is currently under development and should be available in the near future. 

Usefulness for Service Providers
Service providers can type in their 498 ID/SPIN and from there, will be able to see committed amounts and the FCC Form 486 service start dates. This information will be helpful for invoicing purposes. You can also find instructions on using the FRN Status Tool to perform a "Standard Report" on the USAC website. Note that the search results are always returned at the FRN level, one line per FRN. The tool instructions also include the list of FCC Form 471 review statuses together with their definitions.

9/16/2016E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) System Issues


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is intermittently unavailable due to known system issues. During this time, users may be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via EPC. USAC is currently working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/15/2016RESOLVED: E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage


RESOLVED: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is currently unavailable due to a system outage. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. USAC is currently working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/12/2016FCC Releases FY2017 Eligible Services List


On Monday, September 12, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission issued an FCC Order (DA 16-1023) releasing the Eligible Services List for Funding Year 2017.

8/30/2016Invitation to E-rate Program Applicant Trainings


Join USAC at an all-day Applicant Training for schools, libraries, and consortia that apply to the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Each training is identical; please select only one.

Register early to secure your spot - these complimentary events are very popular and have limited space.
 

8/12/2016Weekly Service Provider Webinars Begin August 16


Beginning August 16, 2016, USAC will host weekly webinars for service providers each Tuesday from noon to 1:00 PM ET.

These webinars replace the weekly Tuesday conference calls (currently held from noon to 1:00 PM ET) and the monthly webinars (currently held on the first Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET).

All service providers are invited to attend the weekly Tuesday webinars, which will cover E-rate Program updates and information relevant to service providers. Registration each week is complimentary, and required. We look forward to having you join us!

How to Register for a Webinar 
Visit the Service Provider Webinar page on our website, or use the link in your reminder/agenda email to register. You must register separately for each week’s webinar. Doing so will allow you to submit questions and receive the agenda in advance. If you don't have a question to submit in advance, you can simply register at the time that you log in and view the agenda at that time.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar, including a personalized URL. Please do not forward your confirmation email to others; the URL it contains is unique to you. To share the event with others, forward the entire reminder/agenda email from USAC or direct them to the Monthly Webinars web page.

Tips for Joining Your First Webinar
USAC recommends logging in a few minutes early for the first webinar to allow extra time to connect to the webinar service.

When you join for the first time, you'll be prompted to download and run a file called "CitrixLauncher.exe." After you download this file, it will be faster to join future webinars. For more details, visit instructions to download the launcher file on the GoToWebinar support website.

To join the webinar on your mobile device, download the free GoToMeeting App (available for iPhone, Android, and Windows) in advance for quick access.

8/12/2016Save the Date! E-rate Program Applicant Training


Mark your calendars! Registration will be opening soon for the E-rate Program Applicant Trainings. These full-day trainings are intended for schools, libraries, and consortia that apply to the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. 

More details and registration will be available soon in the Training & Outreach section of our website. To be notified when registration is available, make sure you're subscribed to the SL News Brief.

2016 training locations and dates: 

  • Washington, DC - Monday, September 26, 2016 
  • Orlando, FL - Thursday, October 6, 2016 
  • Houston, TX - Friday, October 14, 2016 
  • Philadelphia, PA - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 
  • Minneapolis, MN - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 
  • St. Louis, MO - Thursday, November 10, 2016 
  • Seattle, WA - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 
  • Los Angeles, CA - Friday, November 18, 2016 

8/11/2016E-rate Program Service Provider Updates


Starting today, all subscriber to the "E-rate Program Service Providers" list, will receive news updates and guidance for service providers from USAC in addition to the webinar reminders.

We hope you find the emails about the E-rate Program to be informative and helpful with your program participation!

8/8/2016Special Edition News Brief - Update on Invoicing and Payment Processes for FY2016


The 08/08/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.


7/29/2016Craig Davis to Lead Schools and Libraries Program


USAC is pleased to announce that Craig Davis will assume the role of Vice President of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. After a full search process with strong internal and external candidates, we are confident that Craig’s background and experience will enable him to successfully lead the program and deliver upon its inspired mission.

Craig has an extensive track record of demonstrating stakeholder-driven success in his current role as Vice President of USAC’s Rural Health Care Program (RHC). During the past two years with RHC, Craig and his team have seen dramatic increases in productivity, stakeholder engagement and satisfaction, and have reduced the number of appeals to single digits.

The similar structure of the E-rate and RHC programs gives Craig the benefit of operational familiarity, while still bringing a fresh perspective and a need and desire to learn from E-rate stakeholders about the opportunities to further improve USAC’s delivery of the program. 

Craig also understands and has managed the implementation of large-scale production level systems, which will be a much-needed asset as we continue to roll out and improve the performance of the EPC system and begin the process of considering more significant changes to fully achieve our shared goals for the applicant and service provider experience.

Before joining USAC in 2002, Craig worked for a variety of telecommunications companies, including a dark fiber provider, a wireless competitive local exchange carrier, and an operator services provider. Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Craig will officially become the Vice President of the Schools and Libraries Program on August 1. Current Vice President Mel Blackwell will remain as an advisor to USAC and the program through the end of the year.

We look forward to working with all of you as we continue our efforts to realize the vision and grow the impact of the Schools and Libraries Program.

7/21/2016Reminder: Submit Complete Responses to PIA Questions


To prevent applicants from submitting incomplete responses to Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) questions, applicants must now complete all fields in their responses to submit. Specifically, you must fill in all text boxes. If you miss a text box, you will receive a message saying, “A value is required,” and you will not be able to submit your response.

If you are responding to your questions and a text box does not apply to you, please enter “Does not apply” or “N/A” in that box. This will allow you to submit your response as long as the questions that do apply to you have all been answered and/or the appropriate documents have been uploaded.

For more information, you can refer to the final article in the July 15 SL News Brief.

SPECIAL NOTE: Some applicants are receiving a message that begins “Error Evaluating UI Expression” when they try to access their PIA questions. We are working to fix this problem, and we should have that fix in place sometime next week. If you are getting close to your response deadline and you still cannot access your PIA questions, please request an extension on the Review Inquiries page (from the left-hand menu on your FCC Form 471 in EPC). Your first extension request will be granted automatically.

7/21/2016Special Edition News Brief - Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Guidance for Libraries


The 07/21/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.


6/16/2016Special Edition News Brief - USAC Releases First Funding Wave for FY2016


The 06/16/2016 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.


6/8/2016USAC to Fully Fund All Eligible FY2016 Service Requests


The FCC issued a Public Notice (DA 16-629) directing USAC to fully fund all eligible FY2016 category 1 and category 2 service requests. The FCC stated that there is sufficient funding available to fully meet the E-rate Program’s estimated demand under the current FY2016 cap of $3.939 billion and the $1.9 billion in unused funds from previous funding years. 

6/7/2016FY2016 Demand Estimate Filed with FCC


USAC’s FY2016 Demand Estimate for the E-rate Program is $3.609 billion. Under this estimate, $2.330 billion is for Category 1 services and $1.279 billion for Category 2 services.  This estimate is based on total funds requested during the first FCC Form 471 filing window, $3.175 billion, and a projected amount of $434 million for the second filing window.

Funding Year 2016 runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.