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E-rate Terms
 
Basic Terms
E-rate:
A common name for the Universal Service Fund for Schools and Libraries.
FCC:
Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory agency that oversees the E-rate, among many other responsibilities.
Telecommunications Act:
The Telecommunications Act of 1996, among other things, established the federal universal service support mechanism for eligible schools and libraries.
Universal Service Fund:
Provides discounts to telecommunications carriers for delivering affordable telecommunications services to various categories of customers, including schools and libraries.
SLD:
Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company responsible for administering universal service.
USAC:
The Universal Service Administrative Company is the parent company responsible for overseeing the administration of the Universal Service Fund.
 
Acronyms
Client Service Bureau (CSB):
E-rate help desk where applicant and service providers can get answers to questions. 1-888-203-8100
Program Integrity Assurance (PIA):
Team that reviews funding requests for compliance with FCC rules
Technical Client Service Bureau (TCSB):
Team answering technical questions about eligible services and program rules.
 

Applicant Forms

Form 470:
Description of Services Requested is first step required of applicants.
Form 471:
The Services Ordered form is the second step required of applicants.
Form 486:
The Receipt of Services Confirmation form is the third step required of applicants.
Form 500:
The Adjustment of Funding Commitment and Modification to Receipt of Services Confirmation form filed by applicants for changes to or cancellation of a funding commitment request.
Form 472:
The Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form filed by applicants seeking reimbursements for bills paid in full, now due a discount.
 
Vendor Forms
Form 473:
The Service Provider Annual Certification form required to be filed annually by participating providers.
Form 474:
The Service Provider Invoice Form used to invoice the SLD for the discounted cost of E-rate services delivered and not paid for in full by the applicant.
Form 498:
The Service Provider Information Form must be filed to apply for a Service Provider Identification Number.
Letters
Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter ("RNL"):
Sent to applicants informing them of the date their 470 was posted to the SLD Web site for bidding.
RAL:
The Receipt Acknowledgement Letter sent to applicants and vendors after the applicant or SLD has entered the information from a Form 471 into its systems.
FCDL:
The Funding Commitment Decisions Letter informing the applicant of the level of discount that has been awarded on each funding request. This letter is sent to the applicants and vendors.
 
Numbers to Remember
Entity Number:
A number assigned to each entity applicant used to track applications for that applicant at SLD. Often called the billed entity number.
Form 470 Number:
A 15-digit number (formerly the Universal Service Control Number) assigned to all Form 470 applications filed with the SLD.
Form 471 Number:
Assigned to each Form 471 filed after data entry and used to track the 471 at SLD; can be up to ten digits.
FRN:
A Funding Request Number is assigned to each item in Block 5 of the Form 471 and is described in the Funding Commitment Decisions Letter.
SPIN:
A unique nine-digit number given to service providers after submitting Form 473 and needed by applicants for completion of the Form 471.
Applicant-Created Identifier:
A unique number assigned by the applicant on SLD forms.
 
E-rate Participants
Eligible Entity:
Any school, library, or consortium eligible to participate in the E-rate program.
Billed Entity:
The organization that pays the bill, writes the check for services delivered.
Consortium:
A group of organizations or institutions that join together for the purpose of contracting for and applying for E-rate funds.
Service Provider/Vendors:
A business or organization that sells connections or equipment necessary for communications.
 
Other Related Terms
Tariffed services:
Telephone service (e.g., local and long distance) regulated by state and federal officials.
POTS:
Plain Old Telephone Service for placing and receiving phone calls.
Common Carrier:
Any telecommunications company that provides telecommunications services for a fee to the general public or to businesses.
Month-to-Month Contract:
Services billed on a monthly basis without a formal, written contract.
Prediscount Cost:
Cost of service before E-rate discount is applied.
Internal Connections:
The wires and equipment needed for connecting computers within an entity.
Shared Services:
Services delivered to more than one site; discount based on average or aggregate level. Site-Specific Services: Services delivered to only one entity, such as a single school.
Weighted Average:
The calculated amount of discount that reflects the number of students eligible, for instance, the National Free Lunch Program for a school district.
Window:
Time during which all Form 471s are treated as if filed on same day.