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Form 470
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Form 470 Application Tips

Introduction

FCC Form 470 "Description of Services Requested and Certification Form" The first form that must be filed by a school or library in the E-rate application process. Its primary purpose is to briefly describe the applicant, provide a point of contact, and indicate any new telecommunications and technology services that the applicant will be seeking. Much of the information requested is designed to be useful to, and to be made available to, potential vendors.

The important aspect of submitting a Form 470 is that it be filed well before actual contracts, upon which E-rate discounts will be requested, are signed.

Specific discount requests will be made on a second form, FCC Form 471, which should be filed before the end of the application window period for the next funding year. The Form 471 application window for FY 2014 year will close March 26, 2014 (see the SLD's announcement on the extension of the filing window for FY 2014). Timing is important because, before new contracts can be signed, the initial Form 470 must be received by the SLD and posted on its Web site for at least 28 days.

The rules for determining the eligibility of existing and new contracts for E-rate purposes are quite precise and must be carefully followed.

A more complete discussion of these rules and the implications for applicant purchasing procedures is provided under Contract Timing Issues.

Instructions

Detailed instructions for completing a Form 470, either online or by mail, can be found:

Interactive versions of Form 470 (and other E-rate forms) are available in the Forms Rack section of this Web site. These versions can be used online or can be downloaded for subsequent use.

Tip 1: Make sure to use the current version of Form 470.

  • Check the date at the bottom right-hand corner of each page. If filing Form 470 on-line, use of the current version will be automatic.

Tip 2: Entity Numbers are required to identify both billed and non-billed entities.

  • The "Entity Number" in Item (3) used to be called the"Billed Entity Number."
  • First time applicants can be assigned Entity Numbers by calling the SLD help line, 888-203-8100.

Tip 3: Give careful consideration to the choice of the listed contact(s).

  • The contact person listed on page one, Item (6), should be responsible for responding to questions from the SLD on the application. If someone else is best equipped to handle inquiries from vendors, that person should be listed as the optional contact on page three, Item (11).
  • To best way to try to manage contact with vendors responding to a Form 470 application is to select "FAX," "E-mail," or even "Mail," rather than "Telephone," as the "preferred mode of contact." Our experience, however, is that vendors (and the SLD) don't always honor this preference.

Tip 4: In Block 2, be as broad and inclusive as possible in summarizing needs or service requested.

  • If, at the time of filing a Form 470, an applicant is not sure whether service might be received under a tariff or contract, check both options in Item (7). Many applicants may need to check Items (7a), (7b), and (7c).
  • Note that "tariff" has a specific connotation applying only to regulated telecommunications services. "Month-to-month" services is a new category that may be narrowly interpreted by the SLD to apply only to certain Internet access, cellular telephone, and paging services. All other services must be provided under contract.
  • For Items (8) - (10), it is not possible to check both "YES" and "NO" if an RFP is available for some portion of the service, but not for all. In such a case, either:
    • file two Form 470s, one for RFP services and one for the others (be careful to reference the proper Form 470 in each Form 471 funding request); or
    • check "NO" RFP, list all services needed (including those on the RFP), and provide additional RFP guidance in Item 12 of the Form 470.
  • Examples of Services to be listed

Tip 5: Suggested language for Item (12).

  • Most NYS public schools can use the following language:
    "Public work and purchase contracts for public schools in New York State are governed by the provisions of Sections 103-109 of the State's General Municipal Law. Public schools may also purchase equipment and services under publicly bid centralized procurement contracts administered by the State's Office of General Services or under cooperative bidding contracts administered by local boards of cooperative educational services ('BOCES')."
  • Even simpler language is appropriate for most libraries and private schools.
  • An applicant filing its Form 470, several months or more before it plans to negotiate and sign contracts for requested services, should include language such as:
    "Bids for services requested herein will be accepted up to and until the close of the next E-rate Form 471 application window."
  • Most NYS public schools can use the following language:
  • "Public work and purchase contracts for public schools in New York State are governed by the provisions of Sections 103-109 of the State's General Municipal Law. Public schools may also purchase equipment and services under publicly bid centralized procurement contracts administered by the State's Office of General Services or under cooperative bidding contracts administered by local boards of cooperative educational services ('BOCES')."
  • Even simpler language is appropriate for most libraries and private schools.
  • An applicant filing its Form 470, several months or more before it plans to negotiate and sign contracts for requested services, should include language such as:
    "Bids for services requested herein will be accepted up to and until the close of the next E-rate Form 471 application window."

Tip 6: Item (13) is truly optional.

  • Complete only if you want to encourage vendors to contact you regarding possible future services.

Tip 7: Suggestions for completing Block 3: Technology Assessment.

  • Avoid checking "Basic telephone service only" in Item (14) unless you are sure that is the only service you need. "Basic telephone service" refers only to individual telephone lines and cellular telephone service.
  • Item (15) is easy to complete. When in doubt, check both "has been purchased" and "is being sought."
  • Item (15f) is truly optional.

Tip 8: School districts, library systems, and consortiums must fill out Block 4 carefully.

  • At a minimum, all applicants must check one of the categories in Item (16) and complete one line in Item (17).
  • School districts, library systems, and consortiums must complete the table associated with Item (16c) by entering the number of eligible sites (e.g., school district buildings) and the area code(s) and central office exchange codes (the first three digits of the local telephone numbers) of all sites covered by the application.

Tip: 9: Carefully complete the certifications and sign and date the application.

  • Both the FCC and the SLD take these certifications seriously and so should the applicant. Be prepared to support a review of the Item (23) certification that conditions E-rate funding on the availability of supporting equipment and services.
  • Remember that, even if the Form 470 is completed online, the signature page must be mailed to the SLD before the end of Form 471 application window.
  • It is suggested that all forms and certifications sent to the SLD be made by registered or express mail so that a receipt can be obtained proving delivery. Delivery for most express mail services can be tracked on the service's web site.

Tip 10: Carefully note the Form 470 Application # assigned by the SLD.

  • In the program's first two years, the application number was known as the USCN, or Universal Service Control Number.
  • When submitting a Form 470 online, the Application # will be assigned early in the process. If the Form 470 is not completed in one online session, the Application # serves as the key to resuming entry.
  • When submitting a Form 470 by mail, the SLD will send back a receipt acknowledgment letter containing the Application # after data entry.
  • The Application # will be required in Item (12) of Form 471 for each Funding Request.
  • The Form 470 is an "Evergreen" form. Services originally posted on the Form 470 in one year, then provided under a multi-year contract, need not be posted again on a Form 470 until the contract comes up for renewal. When requesting a discount on a Form 471 under a multi-year contract, the Application # in Item (12) should be the number of the original Form 470 filed prior to negotiating the contract.

Tip 11: