Announcements

E-rate Funding Year 2018 Application Filing Window to Open

The Funding Year (FY) 2018 FCC From 471 application filing window opens Thursday, January 11, 2018 at noon EST and closes Thursday, March 22, 2018 and 11:59 PM EDS.

Update your EPC Profile now as EPC profiles will lock on January 10, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.
Some checks you want to make are:

  • Ensure that the entity type for each of your schools, libraries, and non-instructional facilities (NIFs) is accurate.
  • Confirm the names and addresses for all of your entities and NIFs, and let USAC know if any have closed or if you expect to add any new entities for the upcoming funding year.
  • Schools should carefully review their student counts, including National School Lunch Program (NSLP) information.
    • KSDE Data Central has been update and counts for Free and Reduced Lunch for 2017-2018 are now available.
  • Libraries should confirm their square footage, as well as the school district in which their main branch is located.

All applicants should review the "Connectivity" questions in their profile if they have made changes to their network or have a different opinion on the sufficiency of their network.


Kansas Connect and Learn Initiative: Proposed State Matching Fund

The Kansas Connect and Learn Initiative, a partnership between KSDE, the Governor’s Office, and the non-profit EducationSuperHighway, is pleased to announce Governor Brownback’s proposal of a $3,000,000 state matching fund for school technology infrastructure in Kansas.

As you know, current E-rate funding is based on your school district’s discount rate. The Governor’s budget proposal would fund 10% of the cost to construct new broadband infrastructure, triggering additional 10% match from E-rate to cover these projects. Effectively, this provides an extra 20% of funding above and beyond your district’s regular E-rate discount for broadband construction.

Examples and more information about the federal program that the proposed fund takes advantage of can be found here: State Matching Provision

School districts need to follow the normal E-rate process to request an infrastructure upgrade.
This year’s E-rate Form 471 filing deadline is March 22nd, 2018. By this date, school districts must have signed contracts with service providers. To meet this deadline, we recommend that school districts file a corresponding E-rate Form 470/RFP to request new services no later than February 9, 2018.

Other key considerations:

  • Applicants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity must check a box on their E-rate Form 471 to indicate that a state match funding exists.
  • This money must be allocated by June 30, 2019. This is an outstanding opportunity if your current contract is expiring in 2018. If you are currently in a multi-year contract that expires after 2018, and are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact KSDE or EducationSuperHighway so we can help you evaluate your options.
  • These matching funds are only for the one-time new construction costs and the resulting broadband infrastructure must meet FCC bandwidth recommendations.
  • Note this is currently a budget proposal and the budget is a long way from being finalized. We recommend that school districts wishing to take advantage of the potential opportunity file the appropriate E-rate forms during the current application window and, if necessary, indicate on the associated contracts that service is contingent on state funding availability. If the state match is not made available this year or the $3,000,000 cap is reached prior to your district receiving funding, you can continue to utilize your existing E-rate discount funds to complete the project or just walk away from the project.

Please contact EducationSuperHighway at kansas@educationsuperhighway.org or you may contact Sarah Palubinski at spalubinski@ksde.org for further information


Updates on USAC’s E Rate Productivity Center and Legacy System

USAC has not provided clear written guidance on the Form 470 menu options at this time. Because of this SECA the State E-Rate Coordinators Alliance has developed the following table of recommended Form 470 menu choices and Narrative descriptions for different types of internet needs. Please note that their guidance is that "Leased Lit Fiber" is not only a transport service, but may encompass bundled Internet service. Also noted is the importance of not indicating a preference for a specific technology unless you have at least added "or equivalent".

If you have posted your 470 and are not aligned with this guidance it is strongly suggested you re-post your Form 470 and re-start your 28-day bidding period.

  • Reposting is not needed if your Form 470 was filed before August 26, 2017 (the date the new menus options were implemented in EPC). This includes Form 470s filed in previous years for which you are still operating under a multi-year contract for FY 2018.
  • There is no way to cancel an existing Form 470. To avoid service provider confusion if filing a new Form 470, therefore, we recommend using an updated Nickname and adding a sentence to the new Narrative indicating that this New Form 470 replaces the Internet request on the previous Form 470 number 18000XXXX.

How to Post for Internet For FY 2018
If You Want… Select This 470 Drop Down Option… Notes for What To and What NOT to Include in the Narrative Explanation
Internet Access bundled with Fiber transport Leased Lit Fiber Explain that you are seeking proposals for a specific speed or range of speeds of Internet Access, delivered over a fiber transport circuit. Do NOT also select the “Internet and Transport Bundled” drop-down.
Internet Access including transport that is NOT fiber (for example: microwave, cable modem, DSL) Internet Access and Transport Bundled Do NOT state a preference for any of the examples (cable modem, etc.) unless you include the words “or equivalent”.
Internet Access with transport, and you don’t care or don’t know whether the transport circuit is a fiber or a non-fiber circuit Leased Lit Fiber – and – Internet Access &Transport Bundled (Select both drop downs) Do NOT state a preference for the type of circuit.
Stand- alone, Commodity Internet Access (no bundled transport) Internet Access: ISP service only Explain that you are seeking proposals for a specific speed or range of speeds of Internet Access that does not contain transport.


Kansas Connect and Learn Initiative

On November 9th the Kansas State Board of Education voted to launch the Kansas Connect & Learn Initiative with the nonprofit organization EducationSuperHighway, Kansas Department of Administration and Gov. Sam Brownback’s office to develop and implement a statewide plan to upgrade every school district to affordable, high-speed broadband.

EducationSuperHighway's team of network and procurement experts will provide school districts — at no cost — the resources and time needed to upgrade their broadband networks to scalable, cost-effective infrastructure and high-speed bandwidth.

For more information and the latest news from EducationSuperHighway please visit the KS Connect page.


Update on Invoicing and Payment Processes for FY2016

Applicants and service providers can now submit invoices for FY2016, and USAC can review, process and pay them.

  • Previously, while service providers have been able to submit an FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, online and electronically for FY2016, USAC held all submitted SPI Forms until the review and payment processes were in place for FY2016.
  • Applicants were unable to submit an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, online for FY2016. Applicants can now submit BEAR Forms for FY2016, and the review and payment processes are in place as well.

USAC continues to process invoices for FY2015 and previous funding years using our legacy system. However, for the FY2016 submission, review, and payment processes to work successfully, information from the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) had to be migrated into the legacy system. That process has now been fully implemented.

As a reminder, applicants filing BEAR Forms for FY2016 must have certified – and USAC must have successfully processed – an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form.

  • After the applicant certifies this form, USAC must verify the banking information. Please respond promptly to the request from USAC so that the review process can be completed.
  • Make sure you put your bank routing number and your bank account number in the correct fields.
  • If you make a change to your FCC Form 498, you must re-certify the form or we cannot process it.
  • For questions, call us at (888) 641-8722 and choose Option 5 (FCC Form 498) and then Option 1 or 2 (questions about the form).

Submitting an invoice to USAC

  • To submit a SPI Form online, service providers can navigate to the Forms page (the second entry under the "Resources and Tools" menu on the left-hand side of any Schools and Libraries web page) and click "File Online" in the FCC Form 474 row of the table of forms.
    1. To file SPI Forms electronically, service providers must first set up electronic invoicing. You can find the appropriate instructions on the Electronic Invoicing guidance document. (You can also locate this document by navigating to STEP 5, Invoicing, under the Service Provider Process banner on the main page.)
  • To file a BEAR Form online, applicants navigate to the Forms page and click "File Online" in the FCC Form 472 row.
  • Remember that invoice forms can no longer be submitted on paper for any funding year.
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