The Erate Form 471 is the place where the school finally gets to make the request for services and equipment. As a reminder, the following steps need to be completed before selecting the service provider (s) and submitting Form 471 (s). These include:
- Conduct a needs assessment
- File the form 470
- Be sure to log and score every bid received.
See our blog for more detailed information.
Make sure the school has an entity number and an updated student count in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). Registration in the EPC is required and is a multi-step process.
After the Form 470 has been posted in the EPC for at least 28 days you can start to closely review your bids and their scores. It’s decision time and hopefully, you have several great service providers to choose from. The selection itself is fairly simple. The highest-scoring bidder wins the contract. The score is based on your own criteria that is used to score every bid received. Remember the lowest scoring bidder has to receive the highest score in the cost category.
Communicate with the service provider to let them know that they earned the contract. If needed, obtain a contract for signature after the 28-day mandatory waiting period. The contract will need to be uploaded into the EPC and referenced in the Form 471.
Next month we will provide more information about the Erate Form 471. USAC/Erate has not announced the application open and close dates yet for the upcoming 2023-2024 funding year. Typically the window opens in early January and closes in mid-to-late March.
Enjoy the Holidays, and be ready to hit the ground running in the new year!