This post was contributed by Dale McDonald, PBVM, PhD, NCEA Director of Public Policy.
The Universal Service Administrative Company announced that it has extended the application window for the E-Rate program. Because of technical problems encountered by applicants in the filing process, USAC has made some changes and extended the closing date to May 26, 2016.
If schools and dioceses have not begun the process, there is still time to file a Form 470 by April 26 and comply with the 28 day waiting period before filing the Form 471 by May 26.
More information is available on the USAC website.
Since almost 4 billion dollars will be available for discounted services, this is an opportunity to acquire or enhance broadband connectivity for classrooms. Every school should apply!
The E-rate site contains a new “File Along with Me” blog that uses a friendly, step-by-step approach to help schools apply for E-rate Program funding. Check it out here. www.filealongwitherate.org
For the application process, USAC is utilizing a new E-rate information technology system and this is initial launch of a new may have some problems that will need to be addressed as they arise.
Meanwhile, it is important that applicants take all the important steps possible to prepare for the filing of the FCC Form 471, including posting an FCC Form 470 (as the FCC Form 470 has been available since July) and completing your competitive bidding process. Applicants are also encouraged to log on to EPC, make sure your profile information is accurate, and post your FCC Form 470 which must be available for 28 days before filing Form 471.
The best way to support your successful filing of your E-rate application is to start now with your account and user information. You can set up your account in the EPC Portal, assign user rights and establish or update your profile.