Tips and Troubleshooting

The page below provides information related to filing forms online including:

Browser Requirements and Settings
Tips to Resolve Errors
Troubleshooting Guidelines
Top Online Form Issues

Browser Requirements and Settings

Internet Browser Internet Explorer 6.0 or above.
All other Browsers are not supported and can cause errors.
Software Required none
Adobe Acrobat Not required. All forms now use Print Preview formats which do not run Adobe PDFs.
Cookie Settings Automatically or "Every visit to the page".
Firewall Settings Ports 80 and 443 (https) should be open to Internet traffic. The firewall should be set up to allow "headers".

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Tips to Resolve Errors

  • Clear Your Temporary Internet Files.
    If submitting multiple forms on one day, clear your Temporary Internet Files between each form.
    • For Internet Explorer:
      1. Save the form and exit.
      2. Clear temporary files by selecting Tools > Internet Options > General Tab > Delete Files under the Temporary Internet Files Section (IE 6.0).
      3. Close the browser.
      4. Open the browser and reload the page.
    • For Netscape:
      1. Open the Edit menu.
      2. Select Preferences.
      3. Open the Advanced sub-categories and select > Cache.
      4. Click Clear Disk Cache > Clear Memory Cache buttons.
      5. Click OK to clear cache.
  • Ensure Your Browser is Set to Load the Current Version of a Page.
    This will ensure your browser is pulling up the most current version of the page, not loading the page from memory with out-of-date information.
    • For Internet Explorer:
      1. Go to Tools > Internet Options > General Tab > Temporary Internet Files > Settings.
      2. Modify the setting to: "Automatically" or "Every visit to the page".
    • For Netscape:
      1. From the menu options select Edit.
      2. From the dropdown menu options select Preferences.
      3. Click on the '+' beside the Advanced option in the Category window on the left to expand subcategories.
      4. Click on the Cache option. For the setting of "Document in cache is compared to document on network", select "Every Time".
      5. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Preferences window.
  • Disable Your Internet Explorer Content Advisor.
    Under Tools > Internet Options > Content Tab, the button at the top should read Enable. If it reads Disable, the Content Advisor is On and pages on USAC's website will load with no information in them.

    If you have a separate content filter running, try disabling it temporarily on the computer while working on the form. Content filters can occasionally block necessary content on online forms.

  • Enable Cookies
    • For Internet Explorer:
      1. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Privacy > Sites > and add "" and click "Allow".
    • For Netscape:
      1. Open Netscape Navigator and click Edit on the toolbar.
      2. Click Preferences.
      3. Click the Privacy and Security category; expand the list to show the subcategories.
      4. Click Cookies.
      5. Under Cookie Acceptance Policy select either Enable all cookies or Allow cookies based on policy settings.
      6. If you choose the latter option, click on View to select the required level.
      7. Click OK on the Preferences window.
  • Firewall Settings
    Check with your Firewall Administrator on how to ensure Ports 80 and 443 are open to Internet Traffic. If you are receiving an error after Block 1 before being assigned an Application number and security code, or when choosing OK at the end of a form before submitting it, this is probably due to your firewall settings.

  • Continue Incomplete
    To continue an incomplete form, if you started in the Interview, return to the Interview and choose Continue Form. If you started in the Create Form, choose Continue Incomplete from the Apply Online area.

  • Turn Off Pop-Up Blockers
    Print Preview will launch a new window in all forms. If the window does not appear, you should turn off any pop-up blockers or toolbar add-ons with pop-up blocking capabilities. If Print Preview opens with incorrect or incomplete information, do not save the form. Close the window, clear your Temporary Internet Files, and open.

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Troubleshooting Guidelines

  1. Is the data being keyed valid? Verify the error is not a result of using incorrect data or invalid date format. Remove any spaces from the beginning or end of any fields. Do not key dollar signs or commas in number fields. Dates should be entered in dd/mm/yyyy format.
  2. Are you trying to go to the next block/page before all required data is entered? Error messages will appear in red at the top of the page or next to the incorrect item. When completing the Form 486 or Form 472, refer to your Funding Commitment Decision Letter to obtain the missing information.
  3. Are you entering data out of sequence? There is a specific order in which data should be entered into the online form. To avoid issues, navigate through forms using the Tab key.
  4. Are you getting navigation errors? Use only the buttons within the form to navigate. Do not use your browser’s Back or Refresh buttons. Also, do not access the form from a bookmark. Enter the Apply Online page from the main website each time you wish to file a form.
  5. Are you attempting to enter data before the page fully loads? Within the Interview style, always give the form a moment to update and fully load after you make a selection or enter information and hit Tab.
  6. Was the form submitted? Forms automatically take you to a certification page once you click Submit;. If the form takes you to a different page, the form may not have been submitted. On the Form 486, if you receive an error that your Security Code is invalid when choosing to Certify Complete, this is a likely cause. Return to the form, navigate to the end, and choose Submit once more.
  7. Is the PIN being used associated to the BEN? When trying to certify a form, make sure the Billed Entity Number (BEN) on the Form in Block 1 matches the BEN listed on the PIN mailer.

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Top Online Form Issues

  1. Form 470 – Block 2, Item 8
    If the 470 Interview appears to erase your Telecommunications products/services from Block 2 Item 8, when the form asks "Do you want to enter another Service or Function?", choose Continue instead of No.
  2. Form 471 – Block 5, Items 18 through 20b
    If you receive an error on Block 5 regarding dates in Items 18 through 20b, check to ensure the correct Form 470 application number was entered in Item 12. If you signed a multi-year contract in a previous year, use the 470 from which the contract was bid.
  3. Form 486 – Block 3
    The form asks for your 10-digit Form 471 application number and your 10-digit Funding Request Number (FRN) on Block 3. These numbers are up to 10 digits, and are more commonly 6 digits and 7 digits long, respectively. Check your FCDL for the numbers. Please note that the FRN is not the FCC RN.
  4. Form 486 Interview – Block 2
    If you answer the Block 4 question "The Billed Entity on this Form 486 is the Administrative Authority for:" as "All recipients of service", you will not be asked the equivalent of 11D through 11G. The option will only appear if you answer that your billed entity is the Administrative Authority for "Some but not all recipients of service" or "None of the recipients of service".
  5. Form 472 – Block 1, Item 8
    If Item 8 appears to be populating incorrectly (e.g., for a Column 15 total of $15,000 it is populating $15), try removing any commas or dollar signs from Columns 14 and 15. Item 8 should then correct itself.
  6. Form 472 – Block 2, Items 9 and 10
    The form asks for your 10-digit Form 471 application number and your 10-digit Funding Request Number (FRN). These numbers are commonly 6 or 7 digits long. Enter these numbers as they appear on your FCDL. Please note that the FRN is notthe FCC Registration Number.

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