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Kansas K-12 E-rate Training

Kansas K-12 E-rate Training

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Kansas K-12 E-rate Training

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  1. Kansas K-12 E-rateTraining Nov 13, 2013  Southeast Kansas Education Service Center Nov 14, 2013  South Central Education Service Center Nov 19, 2013  Southwest Plains Regional Service Center Nov 20, 2013  Smoky Hill Education Service Center, Hays Nov 21, 2013  Smoky Hill Education Service Center, Salina Nov 25, 2013Topeka 

  2. Today’s Topics: • State & Federal Update • General E-rate Information • Understanding Eligible Services • E-rate Process • Avoiding Pitfalls • Questions

  3. Support for the Process • • KSDE E-rate listserv weekly + posts Send email to With message: Subscribe KS_ErateFirstnameLastname • USAC Weekly • Service Center Staff! • Kansas E-rate Hotline 1-866-372-8302 (thru 6/2014) • Melinda Stanley: 785-296-1204

  4. State & Federal Updates • E-rate Modernization / E-rate 2.0 /ConnectED • Other Universal Service Programs: Lifeline • State Broadband Initiative: Dept of CommerceCommunity Pilots (Dodge City, Fort Scott/Bourbon Cty, Shawnee County, Douglas County)State Broadband Map: • Gigabit Library Pilot • Education Superhighway Partnership • KS Speed Test Month • Internet Pricing Portal

  5. General E-rate Information • E-rate Organization • Federal Communication Commission (FCC), currently oversees E-rate program • Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), administers the E-rate program • Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) is the part of USAC with responsibility for the E-rate program

  6. General E-rate Information • E-rate Timeline • Commitments are made by funding year (FY) which runs from July 1 through the following June 30 • USAC refers to the funding year as the year in which most services will begin • FY 2013 is July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014

  7. General E-rate Information • Funding for E-rate • The FCC capped program funding at $2.25 billion per year until 2010 when the FCC began to adjust the cap annually for inflation • Once a year, the FCC is required to roll over all unused funds from prior funding years to the next full funding year

  8. General E-rate Information • E-rate Eligibility • Who is eligible for funding? • Elementary and secondary schools and school districts • Libraries and Library Systems • Consortia – groups of eligible entities that band together to aggregate demand and negotiate lower prices

  9. General E-rate Information • E-rate Discounts • How large are the discounts on eligible products and services? • 20%-90% of eligible costs • Discount level for a school or library depends upon: • Percentage of students who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) inthe school • Urban or rural location of the school KSDE NSLP Free & Reduced Data: KSDE can provide F/R Validation if requested.

  10. General E-rate InformationWhat’s My Discount? Understanding the Discount Matrix USAC Urban/Rural Status:

  11. E-rate Cycles Year AFTER Item 21 reviews Additional Certifications Hopefully receive Funding Commitment Letter Year Before

  12. Understanding Eligible Services • E-rate Categories of Service • Priority 1 (P1): funded first • Telecommunications Services • Internet Access • Telecommunications • Priority 2 (P2): funded second and starts with neediest applicants • Internal Connections • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections • Miscellaneous • Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) • Eligible Services List Published Annually (FY14 released Oct 22, 2013)

  13. Understanding Eligible ServicesPriority One • Telecommunications Services • Digital Transmission Services • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) • Primary Rate Interface (PRI) • T-1, T-3 • Satellite Service

  14. Understanding Eligible Services • Not Eligible as Telecommunications Services • Broadcast ‘Blast’ Messaging • Monitoring services for 911, E911 or alarm telephone lines • Services to ineligible locations • End-user devices • Cell phones, tablet devices, netbooks and computers

  15. Eligible Services List 2014 Eligible Services List for FY 2014 has been approved by the FCC. The following minor change was included: • Applicants may seek web hosting services from a single provider and may not request funding for multiple web hosting providers (i.e., there can be only one host of a school’s basic website) • Interactive webhosting features, such as blogging, are not eligible as stand-alone services

  16. Understanding Eligible ServicesPriority One • Internet Access • Support for Internet Access includes charges to access the Internet and costs for the conduit to the Internet • Other eligible Internet Access services include: • Email service • Wireless Internet access • Interconnected VoIP • Web hosting

  17. Understanding Eligible Services • Not Eligible as Internet Access • Costs for Internet content • Subscription services such as monthly charges for on-line magazine subscriptions • Internet 2 membership dues • Website creation fees • Web-based curriculum software • Software, services or systems used to create or edit Internet content

  18. Understanding Eligible ServicesPriority Two • Internal Connections • Support for equipment and cabling on-site that transport info to classrooms or public rooms of a library • Subject to the Two-in-Five Rule • Entities can only receive funding every two out of five years

  19. Understanding Eligible ServicesPriority Two • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections • Support for basic maintenance of eligible internal connections such as: • Repair and upkeep of hardware • Wire and cable maintenance • Basic tech support • Configuration changes

  20. Understanding Eligible Services • Not eligible as Internal Connections • End-user components • Computers, laptops, tablets, speakers, white boards • Most software • Anti-virus, anti-spam, curriculum or productivity software • Spare parts • Intercom or public address (PA) systems

  21. Bundled VOIP Handsets • The eligible services list states: “The following charges are NOT ELIGIBLE for E-rate support: End User Equipment. Support is not available for end-user equipment.” • Be wary of vendors trying to bundle phone handsets with VOIP service, calling the phones, “free” • Leased gateway or router is eligible • FCC going to issue more formal guidance in the next few months on this issue

  22. FY 2014 & BeyondFunding Projections

  23. Funding Predictions for FY 2014 Let’s look at FY 2013 • $2.38 billion available • Demand for Priority 1 (telecom and Internet) is $2.709 billion • an increase of 10.8% from last year • FCC rolled over $450M in unused funds from prior years to be able to fund all eligible Priority 1 requests • Demand for Priority 2 (internal connections) at 90% discount level is $1.76 billion • If P1 grows again by 10%, P1 demand will be almost $3 billion

  24. Funding Predictions for FY 2014 • P1: Doubtful that FCC would not find funding to cover all P1 requests • P2: There is very little chance that any P2 funding will be available for FY 2014 unless the FCC institutes major reforms

  25. Questions Thus Far?

  26. You already know the process is simple….Right? RNL BID RAL 472 or 474

  27. E-rate Process • Technology Planning • FCC Form 470 and Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) • Competitive Bidding • FCC Form 471 and Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) • Application Review and Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) • FCC Form 486 • FCC Forms 472 (BEAR) and 474 (SPI) • USAC Flow Chart of Process:

  28. E-rate ProcessAcronyms and Terms • Billed Entity Number (BEN): an identification number assigned by USAC to each school or library building • Personal Identification Number (PIN): a code assigned by USAC to applicants for use in certifying online • USAC issues a PIN to every new authorized person • Request for Proposals (RFP): a bidding document (not required by Erate) that provides detailed information about your services, locations, bid submission requirements • FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter (RNL): a letter issued by USAC to the applicant that summarizes the information provided in the FCC Form 470 USAC Acronyms & Terms

  29. E-rate ProcesssAcronyms and Terms • Allowable Vendor Contract Date/Contract Date (ACD): the date 28 which marks 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website • Funding Request Number (FRN): the identification number assigned to a funding request • Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN): the identification number assigned by USAC to a service provider • Item 21 Attachment: the description of services associated with a funding request • Item 21 attachments can be submitted online, by fax, email, or on paper

  30. E-rate ProcessAcronyms and Terms • Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL): a letter issued by USAC to the applicant and the service provider that summarizes the information provided in the Form 471 • Many of the entries on the form can be corrected after submission • Ministerial and clerical errors can be corrected until USAC issues the Funding Commitment Decision Letter • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA): the USAC group that reviews and makes funding decisions on your application • Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL): a letter issued by USAC to the applicant and the service provider that contains commitment decisions on funding requests • Applicants and Service Providers should carefully review their FCDL for details on approved or denied requests and your next steps and next steps

  31. E-rate ProcessTechnology Planning • A technology plan must contain the following 4 elements: • Goals and strategies for using technology to improve education or library services • Needs assessment • Staff training • Evaluation plan • KSDE Tech Plan Info & Resources:

  32. E-rate ProcessRequesting Service • FCC Form 470 Purpose • Opens your competitive bidding process • Notifies potential bidders of the types and quantities of services that you need • Must be posted on the USAC website at least 28 days before filing the FCC Form 471

  33. E-rate ProcessRequesting Services • Applicants must ensure they post for the correct category of services • New FCC Form 470 combines Telecommunications and Internet Access • Sufficient detail in FCC Form 470 to enable service providers to formulate bids • Be specific on what you put on your Form 470….don’t copy and paste from the Eligible Services List

  34. Changes to Form 470 • Use old form until new one comes online (expected to be the end of November) • New form will consolidate Telecommunications and Internet into a single “Priority 1 Services” category on the Form 470 • Must continue to distinguish between Telecom/Internet on the Form 471 • If you select the wrong category on the 471, PIA will not deny, but will reach out to you and ask you to change

  35. E-rate ProcessRequesting Services • Applicants may set some eligible services requirements • May require service providers to provide services that are compatible with one kind of system over another • Cannot list specific make and model of services sought without also allowing equivalent products and/or services to be bid

  36. Bid Equivalent Products • 470s/RFPs cannot be manufacturer-specific • known as ‘Queen of Peace Decision’ • Must use the words “or equivalent” or “or compatible”. For example: NOT OK: ‘Cisco 3750 Switch’ OK: Cisco 3750 Switch or equivalent • Must evaluate “equivalent” bids received • In bid evaluation, may consider other factors, such as the amount of staff training required to support alternate manufacturer equipment

  37. E-rate ProcessRequesting Service • Competitive Bidding Requirements • Noone other than the applicant or an authorized representative of the applicant should prepare, sign or submit the FCC Form 470 or certification • The Form 470 must describe the desired products and services with sufficient specificity to enable interested parties to submit bid responses

  38. New RFP Definition • At the USAC training this year, it was stressed that if an applicant posts a 470 and then provides additional written instructions or information to bidders, this would constitute an RFP for E-rate purposes and therefore the box indicating you have an RFP should be used on the 470 • Providing building addresses is ok • Answering written questions from vendors is ok

  39. E-rate ProcessRequesting Services • Competitive Bidding Process • All potential bidders must have access to your FCC Form 470 or RFP • Applicants must ensure that the competitive bidding process is open and fair • You must keep all incoming bids/correspondence with bidders and prepare to evaluate bids equally • You must evaluate the incoming bids fairly and equally • Encourage bidders to submit their most cost effective solutions by providing options.

  40. E-rate ProcessRequesting Services • Retain all vendor selection documentation for at least 5 years from the last date to receive service • Winning and losing bids, correspondences, memos, bid evaluation documents, etc. • Service Providers are required to offer applicants their services at the lowest corresponding prices charged to other similarly situated customers throughout their geographic service area • Ensures schools in the Erate program are not charged more for the same services because of their participation

  41. E-rate ProcessBid Evaluation Matrix Requesting Services Sample Bid Evaluations:

  42. Erate ProcessCompetitive Bidding • After the 28 day waiting period closes, on the 29th day, you can: • Evaluate bids received • Choose your service provider (s) • Sign a contract (if applicable) • Submit an FCC Form 471

  43. Erate ProcessCompetitive Bidding • Examples of Rule Violations • The applicant has a relationship with a service provider that would unfairly influence the outcome of a competition or furnish the service provider with ‘inside’ information • Someone other than the applicant or an authorized representative of the applicant prepares, signs, or submits the FCC Form 470 and certification

  44. Erate ProcessCompetitive Bidding • Examples of Rules Violations • A service provider representative is listed as the FCC Form 470 contact person and that service provider is allowed to participate in the competitive bidding process • The FCC Form 470 does not describe the desired products and services with sufficient specificity to enable interested parties to submit bid responses

  45. Erate ProcessCompetitive Bidding • After the 28 day waiting period closes, on the 29th day you can: • Evaluate bids received • Choose your service provider (s) • Sign a contract (if applicable) • Submit an FCC Form 471

  46. Erate ProcessOrdering Services • FCC Form 471 purpose • Identify the service providers and eligible services you have chosen • Identifies the eligible schools that will receive services • Calculates how much support you seek for the year • Includes your discount calculation information • Certifies your compliance with program rules

  47. New 471 Coming, Too • New 471 will be available when window opens in January • Biggest Block 2 removed in lieu of other questions in Block 5 • More info will follow!

  48. Erate ProcessBegin Receiving Services • FCC Form 486 Purpose • Notifies USAC that your eligible services have started or been delivered and invoices for those services can be processed and paid • Certify compliance with Technology Plan requirements (if applicable) • Certifycompliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act • MUST be filed within 120 days of Service Start date or FCDL issue date

  49. Erate ProcessInvoicing • Requirements before invoicing USAC: • Applicants and service providers receive a FCDL from USAC for the services being invoiced • Applicants must file an FCC Form 486 and receive an FCC 486 notification letter • Service providers must file an FCC Form 473 (Service Provider Certification) each funding year

  50. Erate ProcessInvoicing • 2 Methods of Invoicing: • Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form 472 filed by applicant after services have been paid in full (refund method) • Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form 474 is filed by the service provider after the applicant has been billed for the non-discount portion of eligible vendors (discount method) • Note Applications can choose their method of invoicing; service providers cannot force applicants to use a particular method