Funding Year 2012: July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013 2012-13 School Year Funding Year 2012:Completing form 470
Topics for today’s session • What are some helpful resources? • What is the purpose of form 470? • Form 470: Common errors made in filing • What’s new with the E-rate program in 2012? • Form 470: We’ll walk through the online form
Numbers to remember • SLD Client Service Bureau • 1-888-203-8100 • Pam Jacobs (schools and districts) • 515-975-0071 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Jay Peterson (public libraries) • 515-281-4499 • Jay.email@example.com
Online resources • Actual online filing: www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp • Funding commitments/disbursements: www.e-ratecentral.com • Iowa E-rate information www.iptv.org/iowa_database/erate
What is the purpose of form 470? • To open the competitive bidding process for the E-rate services you seek. • This form is required prior to filing form 471. • There is a required 28-day “waiting period” between form 470 filing and 471 filing.
E-rate Timelines • Complete an E-rate tech plan (required if applying for priority 2; not required if only filing for priority 1) • Form 470 (File any time between now until early December) • Wait at least 28 days after filing form 470 • Select provider and sign contract (if applicable) • Form 471 (deadline is likely early March 2012). Form 471 is often called “the application” • Answer questions/call from PIA (March-?) • Funding commitment decision letter • Form 486 • No discounts on bills? File form 472/BEAR form
4-pronged test for Eligibility Requirements for eligibility: • Must be an eligible product or service • Used by an eligible entity • Used at an eligible location • Used for an eligible purpose
Do I file form 470 every year? Question: Do I have to file a form 470 every year? Answer: Yes, if you are applying for month-to-month services, you must file form 470 every year. Yes, if you want to sign a new contract, you must file a form 470. No, if you have an existing multi-year contract that meets certain conditions (more info is provided later in this presentation)
Form 470: How many separate 470 forms to file? Your choice! • You may file one form 470 OR • You may file a separate form 470 for each type of service • Recommendation: If you are applying for internal connections or basic maintenance, file a separate form 470 for these priority 2 services
Form 470: Common errors made in filing Error 1: Applicants don’t wait the full 28 days before choosing a service provider or signing a new contract FIX: Wait at least 28 days!
Form 470: Common errors made in filing • Error 2: Applicants do not properly keep records of their bid evaluation process. • Fix: (See the following slide for guidance).
Bid evaluation process SLD is getting more particular about documenting a fair and open bidding process • Have a written process for evaluating bids and criteria for selection prior to selecting your provider and signing a contract. • Keep a record of bids received!!! (not just the winning bid). • Complete your bid evaluation document, even if you just received one bid. • Date the completed bid evaluation document to show you waited at least 28 days to make your vendor selection.
Must I accept the lowest bid? • No, not according to e-rate rules…but cost must be the primary consideration • Other factors might be prior experience of vendor, qualification of personnel, financial stability of the company, service that meets the needs of your school/library, in-state preference • For sample bid document, see http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/2007_training/samples-checklist-vendor-selection-templates.pdf
May we sign a contract? • Yes, but only after the “allowable contract date” of 28 days • Include contingency language in case you don’t get funded, especially for internal connections
What if we already have a contract for 12-13 school year? • Did you already file form 470 in a previous year “establishing” this contract? (If you’re not sure your 470 qualifies to “establish” a multi-year contract, contact me and I’ll check it over with you). • Does the contract cover ALL of 12-13 school year? • If both above statements are true, you do not need to file form 470 for this service. You will have to file form 471 in order to get funding.
Form 470: Common errors made in filing Error 3: Not enough quantity and/or capacity requested for telecommunications services and/or Internet FIX: Don’t limit your capacity. Use words like “no less than 8 cellular phone lines” or “minimum of 3 mps”. Avoid using words like “8 phone lines.”
Cellular data services • Very important: If you are filing for cellular data services (e.g. Smartphone-type services or wireless “card” service), indicate this on form 470 in two places: Telecom services and Internet services • When you get to form 471, you will select only one of the above types of service
Form 470: Common errors made in filing Error 4: Form 471 requests services not listed on form 470 (forgot some services on form 470) FIX: You may file more than one form 470 (but must wait 28 days before selecting a service provider and signing a contract)
Question • What about companies that offer bundled services? (such as phone service and Internet in one package) • How do I fill out form 470? (which category of service?) • Answer: Internet may be provided by a either a telecommunications provider or non-telecommunications provider. If you’re considering bundled service across 2 categories, you must state on form 470 under telecomm services category that you will consider bids bundled with Internet service. Also repeat the same description under the Internet category too.
Question? • What if I put a service in the wrong category? (e.g. put “local phone service” as Internet?) • Answer: May result in NO FUNDING! If in doubt, list under 2 categories on form 470 (e.g. telecomm services and Internet)
Question? • What about the section of the eligible services list that isn’t category specific? • Answer: To date, telecomm and Internet are leased services. Internal connections MAY be purchased goods and services.
What’s new with E-rate for funding year 2012? New item 1: CIPA (applies only to districts/schools/AEAs) By July 1, 2012, amend your Internet safety policy (if you haven’t done so) to provide for monitoring of online activities of minors and the education of minors in appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness and response.
CIPA changes Your school/district/AEA is not required to have a new public notice and hearing for this policy change (assuming you have record of previous action) If you don’t have a record of the public notice and hearing for the original establishment of the Internet safety policy, it is recommended that you refresh the record by posting public notice and holding a public hearing.
CIPA reminders CIPA reminders: The following are already required if requesting discounts on Internet and/or internal connections: • Internet safety policy • Public notice of – and public meeting or hearing on – the Internet safety policy • Technology protection measure (filter)
CIPA reminders Your school/district/AEA does not have to buy an Internet safety student curriculum! There are plenty of great/free online resources. See http://onguardonline.gov Also see Common Sense Media (requires free online registration): www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/curriculum www.commonsense.com/internet-safety-guide/ www.commonsense.org/cyberbullying-toolkit www.thinkfinity.org/common-sense-media
CIPA reminders Local school and library authorities must determine what matter is inappropriate for minors. Social networking sites are not automatically considered harmful to minors. Put into local policy how your school or library locally interprets the requirements and make sure your implementation aligns with the policy. (Do what you say you’re going to do).
CIPA reminders The following is not yet determined by FCC. Public comment likely to be sought on the following type of question: Do CIPA requirements apply to the use of portable devices owned by students and library patrons when those devices are used in a school or library to obtain Internet access funded by E-rate?
CIPA reminders Keep some sort of documentation to show filtering/technology protection measure is in place (e.g. bill from vendor of filtering software; sample of a couple computer logs showing filtering, etc.) (Schools/districts/AEAs only): Keep some sort of documentation that the education of minors occurs (e.g. copy of the curriculum used; sample lesson plan from teachers, etc.)
CIPA resources For a detailed discussion of CIPA requirements: Children’s Internet Protection Act website guidance Form 486 Instructions Form 479 Instructions For more details on CIPA, see recent USAC training slides at http://www.usac.org/sl/about/training-sessions/training-2011/fall/presentations.aspx#presentations
What’s new for E-rate funding year 2012? New item 2: Have the deadlines been set? No, the deadlines are not yet set. However….. • USAC predicts the 471 “window” will open in early January and close in early-mid March. • To meet the 28-day waiting period between filing form 470 and filing form 471, it is recommended that you file form 470 no later than early December.
What’s new with E-rate for the 2012 funding year? New item 3: Eligible Services List http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db0928/DA-11-1600A2.pdf
Eligible services for funding year 2012 If you want more examples and updated details on eligible services, take a look at the USAC training slides on eligible services, especially: • Basic maintenance of internal connections • Leased dark fiber as priority 1 service http://www.usac.org/sl/about/training-sessions/training-2011/fall/presentations.aspx#presentations
What’s new for E-rate funding year 2012? Item 4: Further clarification on gift rules See the following for more details • FCC Rules- 47 C.F.R. § 54.503(d) • Federal Gift Rules- 5 C.F.R. § 2635.201-205 • FCC Sixth Report and Order - 25 FCC Rcd 18762 (2010) • FCC Clarification Order- 25 FCC Rcd 17324 (2010)
Gift Rules • Gift rules apply to everyone participating in the E-rate program, whether public or private, and whether operating at the local or regional level • Gift prohibitions are applicable year-round, not just during the competitive bidding process
Gift Rules • Gifts or prizes received at conferences are exempt from the gift rules only when such conferences are open to the public (for free) or meet narrowly-defined conditions as “widely attended events.” • E-rate applicants who are not yet concerned about the gift rules might do well to reflect on a recent FCC filing on behalf of the East Central Board of Cooperative Educational Services (“ECBOCES”) which included the following point: ECBOCES believes that it is because ECBOCES employees accepted gratuities that total no more than $674 over a five-year period, USAC rescinded funding for FY2006, FY2007 and FY2008, and denied funding for FY2009 and FY2010 in the aggregate amount of $3,370,018.77.
Gift Rules • USAC has requested gift clarification from the FCC about several items, including what constitutes a “widely attended event.” • See USAC slides for examples about gifts, especially the slides on charitable donations and conferences and training sessions. • http://www.usac.org/sl/about/training-sessions/training-2011/fall/presentations.aspx#presentations