Service providers will see increased security steps and a single portal for most USF programs when signing into the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) website beginning December 4, 2019.
USAC is moving to a single online portal to access USF accounts for E-file, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, High Cost programs and E-rate. The E-rate forms, FCC Form 472 BEAR search, FCC Form 473, and FCC Form 474 will be available in the portal under one login. USAC also will add multifactor authentication (MFA) to the login process to tighten the site’s security. Next year in the spring, USAC will add the MFA process to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
To prepare for this change, all USAC portal users should verify that the emails and passwords on all their current USF accounts are up to date and that each user has a unique login for each system which they access on USAC’s website. If your current login information is already up to date you are not required to do anything at this time. USAC will send your MFA login instructions on December 4, 2019.
If you would like assistance with this issue from one of JSI’s Lifeline team members, please contact Lans Chase in JSI’s Georgia office at 770-569-2105 or Lisa McLaughlin in JSI’s Texas office at 512-338-0473.
JSI provides guidance for clients on this new information request
On Monday, USAC asked E-rate providers to update their companies’ business types and D-U-N-S Numbers on their FCC Form 498 in USAC’s E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). We’ve received several questions from client companies about this information request in the last few days. This e-Lert provides JSI’s guidance as to how clients should respond to USAC’s inquiry.
According to the instructions provided in USAC’s email, E-rate providers can select up to three business types that best describe their companies. Among the selections are “small business,” which is defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those companies with 250 – 1,500 employees, depending upon various factors. Based on the SBA definition, we believe that most, if not all, JSI clients should be able to select “small business” as their business type. Cooperatives also could select “Nonprofit” as one of their three business types.
USAC also would like each company’s Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number. This is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. If you don’t know your company’s D-U-N-S Number, you can look it up online.
If you have questions about E-rate or would like additional guidance on this new requirement, please contact Terri DeLong in JSI’s Texas office at 512-338-0473.
JSI alerts its clients that participate in the federal E-rate program of an upcoming deadline to complete contracts for Funding Year 2018, plus a change in the invoice deadline for those who have not yet received, or just received, their Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letters (RFCDLs) issued for post-commitment change requests submitted to USAC for Funding Year 2016.
March 22, 2018 – Last Day to Select Service Providers and Submit Contracts for FY 2018
Schools and libraries seeking E-rate funding for Funding Year 2018 completed the first step of the bidding process by submitting and certifying their FCC Form 470s by February 22. Since then, they’ve been collecting bids, choosing their service providers for FY 2018, and signing contracts for services other than those provided under tariff or on a month-to-month basis. On March 22, 2018, the last day of the filing window, schools and libraries must finalize the process and certify the FCC Form 471.
JSI strongly recommends that clients move quickly so that they can complete their bids and execute any required contracts well in advance of the last possible day, giving the schools/libraries time to review them before the March 22 deadline. We also recommend that in responding to a bid, clients remind schools/libraries of the impending deadline, especially if the entity waited until the last possible day, February 22, to submit its FCC Form 470.
FY 2016 Invoice Deadline Extended for Qualifying Entities
Due to problems and delays with Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letters (RFCDLs) issued for post-commitment change requests submitted to USAC for Funding Year 2016, the FCC granted a limited waiver late last month to certain schools, libraries and service providers that have not received their RFCDLs or did not receive them in a timely manner. Those affected now may submit the invoices for their FY 2016 recurring service charges on or before 120 days from the date of their post-commitment RFCDLs.
The original invoice deadline for most FY 2016 recurring service charges was October 30, 2017. Even after extending that deadline to February 27, 2018, a technical problem with USAC’s online E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) delayed the processing of certain post-commitment requests. The FCC has determined that extraordinary circumstances exist to grant a limited waiver of its invoicing rules to allow additional time for these “affected program participants” to submit invoices to USAC.
If you have any questions regarding these deadlines or need assistance with E-rate matters, please contact Terri DeLong in JSI’s Texas office at 512-338-0473.