Welcome to E-Rate! This is a Federally funded program that provides funding for telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections to K-12 schools and public libraries on an annual basis. Applicants can receive from 20% to 90% discounts on their services, based on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program statistics.
The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program, helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain high-speed Internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates.
This guide will hopefully be of assistance for navigating the E-Rate program.
E-rate Website: http://usac.org/sl
To access most forms, applicants will be using the E-Rate Productivity Center, or EPC (pronounced Epic). Also referred to as the portal, EPC not only allows applicants to file forms, but also keeps data from prior years.
Beginning July 27, 2020, USAC will begin adding multifactor authentication (MFA) to enhance security. USAC will create One Portal accounts for all EPC users (using their current EPC username) and also BEAR form filers (using their BEAR form email addresses). If you use the same email address for both accessing the EPC portal as well as filing your BEAR form, you should have access to both of these forms when your One Portal account is created.
How to log in to One Portal for the first time
Here are the steps to log in to One Portal and update your account. We will also include these steps in the email we send on July 27:
Go to the USAC website and click the blue Sign In button at the top of the page.
Click the Continue button at the bottom of the instructions page.
On the following page, click Forgot Password.
Enter your username (your email address) and click Reset via Email.
We will send you an email with a link to reset your password. The link will be good for only one hour. You can click the link or copy and paste it into your browser.
You will be prompted to create a password, and then re-enter it. Your password must contain at least eight characters and include one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and one special character (e.g., !, @, #, $, %, &, or =). Then click Continue.
Click Sign In. In the near future, this sign in step will include acceptance of the consolidated terms and conditions of use. Users who are not presented with these terms and conditions when they first log in to One Portal will be required to accept them once the terms and conditions have been deployed.
We will send a verification code to your email address. The code will be good for only ten minutes. Navigate to your email (don't close your browser) to get the code, then return to your browser window, enter the code in the field provided, and click Verify.
You will then go to your dashboard (if you access more than one application) or a pop-up (if you access only one application).
At this point, we suggest that you choose Manage Account Settings to provide additional account setup information. For example, you can provide a cell phone number or an alternative email address to receive your verification code when you log in the next time.
Note that your Manage Account Settings link appears in a popup message if you only have access to one USAC application, or a link in a dashboard if you have access to multiple applications. Check to be sure that you have access to all of the applications that you previously used.
If you have any difficulties logging in to One Portal, you can call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.
There are 3-5 forms that an applicant will fill out during a typical E-rate cycle. The forms are:
Form 470: Posting of an applicant’s FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) opens the required competitive bidding process.
Form 471: Applicants file an FCC Form 471 (Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form) to request discounts on eligible services and equipment for the upcoming funding year.
Form 486: FCC Form 486 notifies USAC that the billed entity and/or the eligible entities that it represents is receiving, or has received, service in the relevant funding year from the named service provider(s).
Form 472 (optional if you receive discounted bills): Applicants file an FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form) to request reimbursement from USAC for the discount costs of the eligible products or services that the applicant has received and paid for in full.
Form 500 (optional): The FCC Form 500 (Funding Commitment Adjustment Request Form) is used to submit changes to funding requests after USAC has issued commitments for those requests.
Reimbursements are only made via direct deposit via the Schools and Libraries Division. In order to set up this direct deposit, each applicant will need to file Form 498. This is typically a one-time form, although applicants will need to re-file this form if their account information changes.