Summer Homework for E-rate Applicants
E-rate Funding Year 2015 was a taxing time for both applicants and providers as we navigated the “new E-rate” learning curve. Now that your 470 and 471 are filed, there a few simple things you can do in the slower summer months to help speed your forms and requests along.
1. Monitor your contact information. If questions arise with your application, USAC will use information from the forms to contact you. Check your email regularly and be sure to check junk/spam also just in case.
2. Respond to Program Integrity Assurance requests. The PIA review process continues throughout the summer. Missing PIA deadlines for requested information can potentially lead to a reduction in or denial of funding. Monitor your 471 status using the View 471 Status Tool on the USAC site and if documentation is missing, call right away.
3. Respond to any Problem Resolution questions. Yes, there are still paper forms being submitted. If there’s something on the form that can’t be processed, USAC will contact you.
4. Submit your Form 472 or BEAR (Billed Entity Reimbursement Form) for services received in FY 2104 if you’ve paid your services in full. This form can be submitted yearly, quarterly or monthly. Be sure someone is in your office to deposit the reimbursement or work with your provider to secure a credit.
5. Label and store E-rate related documents. FCC document retention rules require that you maintain related documentation for ten years, so summer is a good time to archive your documents now before they are misplaced! Documents that you need to retain are RFP copies, correspondence with providers, winning and losing bids, bid matrices and any other documents important to your specific request.
6. Subscribe to the Schools and Libraries News Brief from a personal email account so you can continue getting updates throughout the summer. News Briefs often include updates than my require action before September. You can then unsubscribe once the new school year has begun.