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Arkansas State Library November 9-10, 2010. Amber Gregory Coordinator of E-Rate Services 900 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72201 (501)

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Presentation on theme: "Arkansas State Library November 9-10, 2010. Amber Gregory Coordinator of E-Rate Services 900 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72201 (501)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Arkansas State Library November 9-10, 2010

2 Amber Gregory Coordinator of E-Rate Services 900 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 682-8576

3  Arkansas State Library provides E-Rate support in the following ways. E-Rate Training and Support Amber Gregory, Coordinator of E-Rate Services Technology Plan Approval Sally Hawkes, Manager of Network Services Advice and Consultation on Technology Donovan Mays, Coordinator of Technology Support

4  E-Rate is a program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allows for schools and libraries to receive discounts on technology.  The discount level is determined by the urban/rural designation and the percentage of students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in the school district in which the library is located.  Discounts range from 20% to 90% of eligible services.  E-Rate is the common name for the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Fund.

5  E-Rate began with the Telecommunications Act of 1996  FCC sets rules and policy  E-Rate is funded by the FCC through the Federal Universal Service Fee

6  Not-for-profit that administers the fund  Four programs: ◦ Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) ◦ Rural Health Care Program ◦ High Cost Program ◦ Low Income Program ◦

7  Each funding year the program is capped at $2.25 Billion.  Starting with FY2010, the fund is adjusted for inflation, making the commitment $2.27 Billion.  Each year a rollover amount is released by the FCC ◦ FY2009 $900 million

8  USAC sends the applicant a letter each time a form is filed. ◦ FY 2008 Blue ◦ FY 2009 Canary ◦ FY 2010 Pink  Retain all correspondence from USAC.  Sample E-Rate binder labels and outline available from USAC: ◦ contents.pdf contents.pdf ◦ dividers.pdf dividers.pdf

9  Keep all letters and E-Rate documents for 5 years after the last service is provided for any individual funding year.

10  Libraries & Library Systems  Schools & School Systems  Consortia ◦ Libraries ◦ Schools ◦ Libraries & Schools

11  Library *  Eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under the LSTA act of 1996  Non-Profit  Budget separate from a school system * Block 5 Certification on Form 470

12  P1 (First Priority) ◦ Telecommunications Services ◦ Internet Access  P2 (Second Priority) ◦ Internal Connections ◦ Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections  Each year a new Eligible Services List (ESL) is approved by the FCC.

13  Establishes authority to file an application on behalf of an applicant ◦ May be required by USAC if applicant is part of a consortia or uses the services of a consultant  When would a Letter of Agency be required?  Consultant ◦ Complete (sign & date) LOA before first action taken on your behalf by consultant  Consortia ◦ Complete (sign & date) LOA before date of 471 certification

14  470 – 4 Hours  471 – 4 Hours  486 – 1.5 Hours  472 – 1.5 Hours ◦ Based on Office of Management and Budget calculations

15  USAC recommends filling out forms, filing and certifying online.  90% of applicants file online.  Helps eliminate errors before the application is filed.  Forms can be filled out using interview mode or manually.  Forms can be saved online to complete at a later time.

16  Develop a Technology Plan  File Form 470 (RFP)  Wait 28 days ◦ Negotiate and sign contract  File Form 471 ◦ Application window stays open 75 days  July 1 - begin receiving service  File Form 486 ◦ 120 days after service begins or after receipt of FCDL, whichever is later.  File Form 472 (BEAR)

17  Four required elements ◦ Goals and Strategies for using technology to improve education or library services ◦ Needs assessment ◦ Staff training ◦ Evaluation plan  Budget: no longer required in the technology plan

18  Deadlines ◦ Must be approved by the time services begin or when the 486 is filed, whichever is earlier. ◦ Technology plan must be approved by Sally Hawkes, Arkansas’ USAC certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA). ◦ Current technology plans on file at the Arkansas State Library cover 2009-2012. ◦ Changes can be made to the current technology plans via addendum.

19  Starting FY2011, the technology plan will only be required for P2 – Internal Connections.  P1 services will no longer require a technology plan.  USAC warns to be aware of services that appear to be P1 but are moved to P2 upon review of the application (bucket switch). ◦ Refer to “On-premise P1 equipment” in reference section of USAC SLD website. ◦

20  Form 470 opens the competitive bidding process. ◦ File yearly for terrified and/or month-to-month services ◦ File once for multi-year contract  Describes the scope of the service & the categories and function of service. ◦ Must be sufficiently detailed  Consistent with the technology plan.  USAC sends Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) to applicant summarizing Form 470 after Form 470 is posted.  The service provider cannot file Form 470 for library.

21  Billed Entity Number (BEN) – Number assigned by USAC to each library.  Personal Identification Number (PIN) – Number assigned by USAC to each person filing E-Rate forms. ◦ If more than one person is authorized to fill out forms, each person needs a PIN.  Contact Client Services Bureau to get BEN or PIN: (888) 203-8100

22  Request for Proposals (RFP) are documents that give details about the services desired, location and bid requirements to potential bidders.  RFPs are not required by E-Rate. ◦ Check for local and state requirements on competitive bidding guidelines.  Follow the stricter of the rules – state, local or E-Rate.

23  Block 2 – Item 7  Select all that may apply: tariffed, month-to- month or contracted services in order to get the best bid response.  Select multi-year contracts and voluntary extensions. If this option is not selected, you will not be able to enter into a multi-year contract or a voluntary extension without submitting a new 470 the following funding year.

24  Block 2 – Items 8,9,10,11  Request service in any category in which you may file a Form 471 ◦ Example: telecommunications services & internet access  If your Form 471 category of service does not match your Form 470, funding can be denied.

25  If you are requesting telecommunications services, the service provider must be an eligible telecommunications service provider. ◦ Conduct a SPIN search on the USAC website. ◦ Print and file the page with E-Rate records.

26  RFP Development and Contract Execution ◦ Consider requiring that vendor must have a SPIN as condition of bid award ◦ Consider requiring that vendor must have filed a Service Provider Annual Certification Form ◦ Consider requiring documentation as a condition of bid award that vendor is an eligible telecommunications service provider if you are requesting telecommunications services ◦ Consider requiring the method of payment in the contract (BEAR/SPI) *Tips from EdTech Strategies, LLC

27  Receipt Notification Letter (RNL) confirms receipt of 470  Form 470 Application Number as assigned by SLD  Provides date (29 th day) when you can sign contract  Confirms receipt status of Block 5 certifications

28  Make sure to wait at least 28 days after posting a Form 470 or an RFP before selecting a vendor, signing a contract or submitting a Form 471(when the application window is open). ◦ Consider how long it will take to:  Conduct the competitive bidding process  Evaluate bids  Negotiate bids  Receive administrative authorization  Execute Contract  Obtain signatures

29  Bidding process must be fair and open.  Responsibility for bidding process rests on the applicant.  A service provider cannot run the competitive bidding process on behalf of the applicant.

30  Price for eligible services must be the most heavily weighted factor.  As long as price is the most important factor, the other factors can be up to the library. ◦ Examples include: ◦ Past positive experience with vendor ◦ Environmental Objectives ◦ Price for ineligible services ◦ Flexible invoicing (Bear or SPI)

31 * Sample from USAC website

32  FY 2011- Stricter rules for competitive bidding and gifts ◦ Rules apply not just during the application window, but at all times. ◦ Gift Rules – Nothing worth over $20 in value may be accepted at any one time from a service provider.  Cannot accept more than $50 in gifts/meals per year from any one service provider. ◦ Be very careful when accepting gifts/meals. E-Rate funding could be at stake.

33  Arkansas Vendor information on ASL website ◦ Public Library Services  Vendors & Purchasing  List is not an endorsement of the vendors, but a list of possible service providers  We will continue to update the website with current vendor information

34  Respond to 470/RFP  Assist applicant with Item 21 attachment on Form 471 (after contract signed)  Assist with technical questions from PIA  Provide discounted bills or reimbursements  Comply with certifications *Roles from EdTech Strategies, LLC

35  Wait 28 days after posting 470/RFP  Evaluate Bids  Choose Service Provider  Sign a Contract  Submit Form 471 (after the window has opened)

36  Form 471 provides more detail about: ◦ Entity requesting discount ◦ Service provider ◦ Eligible Services applied for ◦ Discount calculation information  Certifies compliance with program rules

37  The discount amount is based on two factors: ◦ Number of students in the school district in which the library is located who are eligible for National School Lunch Program (NSLP)  Information available on Arkansas Department of Education website:  Also available on Arkansas State Library website ◦ Rural or Urban designation  Based on Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) data  Designation can be found at USAC website  rural/default.aspx rural/default.aspx

38  Calculate the discount based on NSLP.  Total number of students in the school district where library is located.  Determine number of students eligible for NSLP.  Divide the number of students eligible for NSLP by the total number of students to arrive at the percentage.  Locate discount in discount matrix.  Designation needed for application process.

39 *Spreadsheet from Arkansas Department of Education website

40 *Table from USAC website

41  Usually opens in early November  FY 2011 – Expect window to open early January (close mid-March)  Open 75 days  Application window applies only to Form 471. Form 470 can be posted before window opens.

42  Funding Request Number (FRN) – Number assigned to Form 471 Block 5 funding request  Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) – Identification number given to a service provider by USAC ◦ SPIN contact search available on USAC website ◦ Service Providers may have more than one SPIN ◦ Contact Service Provider to clarify  Item 21 Attachment – Details the services requested in funding application ◦ Service Provider can provide clarification and details for Item 21 Attachment.

43  Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) – Sent to applicant and service provider by USAC summarizing form 471 ◦ Contains FRN, SPINs, Service Provider names, Category of Service, Pre-Discount amount requested, discount percentage ◦ Clerical corrections can be made to 471entries via RAL no later than 20 days after date of RAL  Non-Instructional Facility (NIF) ◦ Eligible for P1 service ◦ Eligible for P2 service if necessary to provide transport to public areas of library

44  Applicants are required to cost allocate out ineligible services from eligible services on the Form 471.  If an ineligible service must be cost allocated out, the corresponding service and installation must be as well.  Document and retain files associated with cost allocation process  Cost allocation must be “based on tangible criteria that provide a realistic result”. - USAC ◦ USAC makes this determination

45  Examples of Cost Allocation ◦ A bundled service with individualized prices for services ◦ Use the simple average of the eligible services performed by a component if it performs both eligible and ineligible functions. ◦ If a bundle of eligible & ineligible services/products receives a discount, the discount must be cost allocated across both eligible & ineligible services ◦ Other examples of cost allocation can be found at USAC website

46  Reminders…  File Priority 1 (P1) and Priority 2 (P2) services on separate 471 forms.  Applicant must be able to pay for the non- discounted portion of the service.  File Item 21 attachment when Form 471 is filed.

47  2 in 5 Rule  Library may not receive funding on P2 (internal connections) more than two out of every five years.  This does not apply to basic maintenance of internal connections.

48  Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) – begins reviewing applications when 471 and Item 21 attachment are submitted. ◦ Makes funding decisions  Checks for program compliance ◦ Eligible Entity ◦ Eligible Purpose ◦ Eligible Services ◦ Eligible Sites/Locations

49  USAC checks to make sure application properly completed ◦ Competitive Bidding Process ◦ Discount Calculation ◦ Contracts ◦ Sufficient Budget ◦ Certifications ◦ Form 470 ◦ Technology Plan ◦ Letters of Agency

50  Applicant’s Role in PIA Review ◦ Have documents ready and organized ◦ Respond with required information within the specified time frame  Review Selective Review Information Request (SRIR) found in SLD reference area ◦ Document the communication in writing ◦ Document the call and response ◦ If more time is needed, ask SLD  Receive confirmation, Document that extra time is granted

51  Informs applicant of status of funding requests ◦ Funded  Completely  In Part ◦ Not Funded ◦ As Yet Unfunded (Internal Connections) ◦ Canceled  There may be multiple FCDLs for a Form 471  FCDL synopsis used to prepare Form 486

52  Common Reasons for Funding Denials ◦ Ineligible entities ◦ Ineligible services or products ◦ Insufficient support resources ◦ Insufficient documentation ◦ Form 470 not certified ◦ Did not wait 28 days after 470 (RFP) posted

53  Other Reasons a Funding Request may be denied ◦ Ineligible Telecommunications Provider ◦ Ineligible use ◦ Did not file Form 470 ◦ Services were not requested on Form 470 ◦ Competitive Bidding Violations ◦ No Letter of Agency ◦ Tech plan not prepared before Form 470 is posted (P2 services)

54  Meet the certifications  Work with the PIA inquiries  Separate out services to avoid including eligible and ineligible services together  File and Certify online ◦ Potential mistakes can be avoided ◦ Guarantees that the application is submitted in the application window  Document, Document, Document! ◦ Retain all paperwork & correspondence with USAC

55  File no later than 120 days after start of service or FCDL, whichever is later  Purpose ◦ Let USAC know that eligible service has begun  Invoices can be processed and paid ◦ Provide the name of the Technology Plan Approver who approved the technology plan ◦ Report CIPA status  USAC will send a Form 486 Notification Letter to applicant and service provider after Form 486 has been processed.

56  Both Applicant and Service Provider receive FCDL for services to be invoiced  Applicant must file from 486  Applicant receives Form 486 Notification Letter from USAC  Service Providers must file Form 473 ◦ Filed by Service Provider after USAC announces the opening of the application filing window ◦ Check with Service Provider about Form 473 filing

57  BEAR vs. SPI – Applicants can choose between two ways to invoice USAC  Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) ◦ Applicant pays for services in full ◦ Applicant files Form 472 ◦ Service Provider approves Form 472  Service Provider Invoice (SPI) ◦ Applicant is billed for non-discount portion of eligible services. ◦ Service Provider files Form 474 for reimbursement on discounted portion of bill,

58  If applicant prefers SPI ◦ list this preference in the RFP ◦ Add it as a qualification ranked in the bid evaluation matrix  Applicant should double check invoice to ensure that they are receiving SPI discounts

59  Applicants can appeal decisions made by USAC  1 st – Appeal to USAC  2 nd – Appeal to FCC  Appeals should be postmarked no later than 60 days after the date of USAC’s decision letter

60  Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) ◦ Signed into law December 21, 2000  Library must be CIPA compliant or “undertaking actions” to become CIPA compliant in order to receive E-Rate discounts  Exception: Telecommunication Services only

61  Filtering is not required of public libraries according to Arkansas law ◦ Required for E-Rate  CIPA Compliance ◦ Technology Protection Measure ◦ Internet Safety Policy ◦ Public Notice & Hearing

62  Billed Entity will certify on Form 486 that the applicant is CIPA compliant  If an Administrative Agency certifies that the Billed Entity is CIPA compliant.. ◦ Form 479 must be filled out by Administrative Agency ◦ Submit Form 479 to Billed Entity before Form 486 is filed

63  USAC Client Service Bureau ◦ Phone: 888-203-8100 ◦ Fax: 888-873-4665 ◦ Website:  Use Submit a Question link to e-mail questions  Amber Gregory, Coordinator of E-Rate Services ◦ Phone: 501-682-8576 ◦ Fax: 501-682-1693 ◦ e-mail: ◦ Website:


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