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Reminders for Funding Year 2003 Applicants

The Form 471 application filing window opens on November 4, 2002. The SLD is providing the important reminders below to assist you with the application process. Each topic below is linked to an HTML document that provides detailed information on that topic.

Form 471 Reminders

 

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Form 471: Wait at least 28 days after the POSTING of your Form 470 before you execute any contracts for contracted services, before you select your service provider for tariffed or month-to-month services, and before you sign and submit your Form 471.

In order to insure a fair and open competition, service providers must be given a reasonable period of time to respond to your request for products and services. Program rules require you to wait at least 28 days between the time that your request is posted to the SLD web site on a Form 470 before you execute any contracts for contracted services, select your service provider for tariffed or month-to-month services, or sign and submit your Form 471. Your state or local procurement regulations may require a longer waiting period, or impose additional requirements.

Your Allowable Vendor Selection/Contract Date is calculated by the system when your Form 470 is successfully data entered and POSTED to the SLD web site. You can obtain this date from your Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter.

NOTE: If you filed your Form 470 on paper, the SLD must successfully data enter your form before it can be posted to the SLD web site. If information necessary to complete data entry is missing or incomplete, a representative of the SLD will attempt to contact you to obtain the information needed to data enter your form. Your paper Form 470 cannot be posted to the SLD web site until all necessary information is obtained. Do not assume that your Allowable Vendor Selection/Contract Date is 28 days after the postmark date of your paper Form 470.

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Form 471: You cannot seek discounts for services in a category of service on the Form 471 if those services in those categories were not indicated on a Form 470.

To ensure a fair and open competition, applicants must clearly identify their requests for products and services so that service providers can bid on those products and services. If the products and services for which you are requesting discounts are not categorized correctly, this disadvantages some service providers who might otherwise have submitted bids for those products and services.

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Form 471: You are strongly encouraged to file your Priority 1 (Telecommunications Service and Internet Access) and Priority 2 (Internal Connections) requests on separate Forms 471.

Although only one Form 470 is required for the competitive bidding process, applicants who are applying for both Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services or Internet Access) and Priority 2 (Internal Connections) services are strongly encouraged to file these requests on separate Forms 471 - that is, to file one or more Forms 471 for their Priority 1 requests and one or more Forms 471 for their Priority 2 requests. This separation will allow the SLD to process Priority 1 requests and communicate decisions on funding commitments for these requests more quickly. Because there is often uncertainty about the funding threshold for Internal Connections, applicants who combine funding requests for Priority 1 and Priority 2 services on a single Form 471 risk delaying the notification process for Priority 1 funding decisions.

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Form 471: You must pay the non-discounted portion of the cost of the products and services for which E-rate discounts are provided.

To review this requirement, please refer to Obligation to Pay Non-Discount Portion.

 

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Form 471: You must be able to demonstrate that you have secured access to all of the resources, including computers, training, software, maintenance and electrical connections necessary to make effective use of the products and services for which you receive E-rate discounts.

Item 25 on the Form 471 is a certification that you have secured access to the resources necessary to pay for (1) the non-discounted portion of the costs for eligible services within the funding year as well as (2) the ineligible products and services to make effective use of the eligible services you have requested. "Secured access" means that you can show that these funds are, or will be, part of your annual budget; or, if you are obtaining the funds from an outside source, that these funds have been promised to you. If you obtain these funds from an outside source, the funds must not come directly or indirectly from your service provider(s).

The SLD may review your Item 25 certification and request additional documentation to support your certification. This additional documentation may include:

  • Paying your share of E-rate eligible costs. You may be asked to provide documentation of your ability to pay the non-discounted portion of the products and services for which you have applied for discounts. You should already have the funds identified in your budget to pay for these costs. If your budget is not yet final, the SLD may request additional documentation to substantiate your certification.

  • Paying for ineligible costs. You may be asked to provide estimates of hardware, software, professional development, retrofitting (construction and electrical work necessary to prepare a building for technology), maintenance investments and other resources that are necessary to make effective use of the E-rate discounts you have requested. These resources may or may not be eligible for E-rate discounts. Again, if these resources will be purchased under your budget, you should already have the funds identified in your budget to pay for them. However, these resources may also be ones that you already have or own, such as computers purchased or donated in a prior year.

  • Technology Plan. If you applied for more than basic local and long distance telephone services, you may be asked to provide a copy of your Technology Plan. Your Technology Plan should include a description of the products and services necessary to accomplish your technology service goals, whether they are eligible or ineligible for E-rate discounts. Before you begin receiving E-rate discounts, your Technology Plan must be approved by an SLD-certified technology plan approver. Approval by a local school board, e.g., does not satisfy that requirement. See Technology Planning and Certified Technology Plan Approver Locator for information on certified approvers.

For an example of a comprehensive request for information, please refer to the E-RATE SELECTIVE REVIEW INFORMATION REQUEST [PDF format, 344kb].

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Form 471: You must be authorized to sign the Form 471.

The person who signs the Form 471 must be authorized to represent any and all of the entities for which discounts are requested. The SLD may request documentation to confirm this person's authorization to represent all entities listed on the application during the application review process. For example, for consortium applications, the consortium lead member must either collect Letters of Agency from each consortium member or be able to provide some other proof that each consortium member knew it was represented on the application. Consortia that have a statutory or regulatory basis and for which participation is mandatory must be able to provide documentation supporting this certification. For consultants or other signers who are not employees of the Billed Entity, those individuals must also have a Letter of Agency from the applicant affirming that they are authorized to represent the applicant.

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Form 471: Review the Minimum Processing Standards and filing requirements.

To review the Minimum Processing Standards for the Form 471, please refer to the Form 471 Instructions (PDF format; 108kb).

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Form 471: LIBRARIES: Review the revised method for calculating your discounts.

The FCC has approved a revised method for libraries to calculate their E-rate discounts. Library outlet/branches will now obtain their discount percentages directly from the Discount Matrix, using (1) the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program in the school district in which the library outlet/branch is located and (2) the Rural or Urban status of the library outlet/branch.

In previous funding years, a library outlet/branch used the Weighted Average Discount of the school district in which the library outlet/branch was located, and entered that Weighted Average Discount in the far right-hand column of Form 471 Block 4 Worksheet B.

Beginning with Funding Year 2003, a library outlet/branch will follow a two-step procedure to calculate its discount:

Step 1. Calculate the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program in the school district in which the library outlet/branch is located. This percentage is calculated by dividing the number of students in the school district eligible for the National School Lunch Program by the total number of students in the school district. These numbers may be available from the school district, from the state Department of Education, or from a state web site.

Step 2. Using the percentage calculated in Step 1 and the Rural or Urban status of the library outlet/branch, locate the percentage discount to which the library outlet/branch is entitled in the Discount Matrix. The Rural or Urban status of the library outlet/branch is determined by the geographic location of the library outlet/branch, using the Rural/Urban Classification table on this web site.

Library systems will continue to use the same method to calculate their Shared Discount Percentage among their library outlet/branches (Worksheet B Item 10c), once the discounts for the individual library outlets/branches have been calculated as above and entered in Worksheet B.

NOTE: The revised Form 471 and Instructions for Funding Year 2003 feature a date of October 2002 in the lower right-hand corner. The Form 471 Instructions include a description of the above calculation method, and the column heading in the revised Form 471 Block 4 Worksheet B no longer features the "Weighted Average Discount" language. Applicants are strongly urged to use that form for Funding Year 2003. However, the SLD will not reject applications submitted on the earlier version of this form, which features a date of October 2000. Libraries must use the revised method described above for calculating their discounts for Funding Year 2003, even if they submit the October 2000 version of the Form 471.

 

Content Last Modified: November 5, 2003