UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND - SCHOOLS and LIBRARIES
Universal service has been defined by Congress as ?an evolving level of telecommunications services . . . taking into account advances in telecommunications and information technologies and services.? 47 U.S.C. 254(c). Policies for the advancement and preservation of universal service must be based on certain principles established by Congress. See 47 U.S.C. 254(b). Consistent with these statutory provisions, the FCC has established the Universal Service Fund, which disburses support for the provision of telecommunications services, as well as other services and facilities (including broadband) for high-cost areas, schools and libraries, rural health care providers, and low-income consumers.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Federal Communications Commission (Fcc)
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Fiscal Year 2018
Past Fiscal Year (2018) 125,030 Schools and Libraries ServedFiscal Year 2019
Estimated 117,100 Schools and Libraries ServedFiscal Year 2020
Estimated 129,500 Schools and Libraries will be served.
The FCC established the Universal Service Fund (USF) pursuant to section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which requires the preservation and advancement of universal service to be based on certain principles, including access to telecommunications and advanced services for all consumers at just, reasonable and affordable rates. The USF currently consists of four programs that focus on increasing such access for consumers living in high-cost areas, consumers with low-incomes, schools and libraries, and rural health care providers., Title Communications Act of 1934, as amended, Part 2, Section 254
47 U.S.C. 254
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996 and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act. Schools and libraries may not operate as for-profit businesses. Schools with endowments exceeding $50,000,000 are also not eligible.
Elementary and secondary public and private schools; public, academic, research, and private libraries; consortia of eligible schools and libraries.
The following forms are required: o FCC Form 470 - Description of Services Requested and Certification Form o FCC Form 471 - Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form o FCC Form 486 - Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children's Internet Protection Act Certification Form o FCC Form 472 - Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form or FCC 474 - Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form o FCC Form 473 - Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form o FCC Form 498 - Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants prepare for competitive bidding, request bids on specific services, evaluate bids and select a service provider. Then they submit a funding request. Once approved and services have been delivered, either the applicant or the service provider may initiate invoicing to receive funds. USAC reviews each funding request and invoice to ensure compliance with program rules.
Once funding request is approved and services have been delivered, the applicant or service provider may initiate invoicing to receive funds. USAC reviews each funding request and invoice to ensure compliance with program rules. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and whether the school or library is located in an urban or rural area. The discounts range from 20 to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. An appeal may be made within sixty (60) days from the date the decision was issued.
Applicants must reapply each year for funding. Extensions to some deadlines may be granted under specific circumstances.
How are proposals selected?
Neither the FCC nor the Administrator of the E-Rate program (the Universal Service Administrative Company or USAC) selects proposals. Funds are available to all eligible applicants that comply with program rules, including specific competitive bidding requirements. This includes the requirement that the applicant select the most cost-effective bid with price being the primary factor.
How may assistance be used?
Assistance can be used to support telecommunications services, broadband Internet access, internal network connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic maintenance of internal connections. The FCC issues a list of eligible services each year.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Participants are subject to compliance audits and other investigations to ensure compliance with program rules and orders.
Applicants and service providers are required to retain receipt and delivery records relating to pre-bidding, bidding, contracts, application process, invoices, provision of services, and other matters relating to the administration of universal service for a period of at least 10 years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funding applications (FCC Form 471) are generally submitted between January and March before the start of the funding year. The funding year starts July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. Recurring services must be delivered by the end of the applicable funding year (i.e., June 30), while non-recurring services must be delivered or installed by September 30 following the close of the funding year. The last date to invoice (FCC Form 472 or 474) is generally October 28 for recurring services and January 28 for non-recurring services. Some deadlines can be extended in certain limited circumstances.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB)
GABRIELA GROSS, DEPUTY CHIEF, WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU
445 12TH ST SW
WASHINGTON, DC 20554 USA
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$2,590,000,000.00; FY 19 est $2,240,000,000.00; FY 20 est $2,370,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FY2018: AVERAGE: $33,305 RANGE: $1- $34,884,168 FY2019 (Estimated): AVERAGE: $32,300 RANGE: $1- $27,492,760 FY2020 (Estimated): AVERAGE: $33,100 RANGE: $7 - $27,600,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
47 CFR Part 54, as well as various FCC orders and instructions on forms for the program.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2018
Providing support for broadband services, telecommunications services, and networking infrastructure in schools and libraries.Fiscal Year 2019
Providing support for broadband services, telecommunications services, and networking infrastructure in schools and libraries.Fiscal Year 2020
Providing support for broadband services, telecommunications services, and networking infrastructure in schools and libraries.