Cross post:

To the Wisconsin E-rate community:

The E-rate Form 471 filing deadline is May 11 at 10:59 PM CST -- 11 days from now.

This message is for customers who plan to use AT&T's MIS service or WiscNet on BadgerNet service for internet access in 2017-2018.

This message does not apply to TEACH/Badgernet customers who will use their local telephone company for internet access in 2017-2018. These customers will simply file a single FRN for service for the entire funding year, as in the past.

Tomorrow, May 2, at 12:30, we will hold another call-in session on how to file. This session will be pared down and will focus on the steps you need to take to file your two FRNs. We will be adding files to the E-rate Learning Library today, to document these specific steps. Please submit any questions​ you have in advance of the presentation, so we can be sure we have answers. It will also help if you are able to review the PowerPoint in advance of the session.

Call in at 12:30: 1-877-820-7831, passcode 647831.

To recap Thursday's session:

We recommend filing 2 FRNs for internet access*, one for month to month service with WiscNet as the provider, and one for contracted service with AT&T as the provider, whether for AT&T's or WiscNet's service on BadgerNet. IMPORTANT: We recommend filing both FRNs for the entire funding year (a revision from what we presented on Thursday).

The FRN filing for AT&T is more complicated that what we presented on Thursday, as you will need to "associate" the BadgerNet contract with your site before you can file, a process that requires several steps.

The whole filing situation, and the reasons behind it, are unusually complicated. We hope if you still are unsure about how to file that you will be able to join the call-in tomorrow, despite the unavoidable risk of call-in fatigue.

Bill Herman
Bob Bocher
Matt Yeakey

*If you did not file a Form 470 for internet access, you should file only a single yearlong FRN for AT&T's or WiscNet's service on BadgerNet, with AT&T as the provider.​

Cross Post: Sorry to barrage this group, but wanted to be clear – the call-in sessions this week, and our advice this afternoon to hold off on filing Form 471s until the end of next week, are intended only for BadgerNet customers. If you are not on BadgerNet, you should file when ready.

Cross post:

Everyone –

Thanks to those who joined the call-in sessions on Monday and today. We got very helpful feedback on Monday's presentation, which we used to update the PowerPoint presentation, adding background which hopefully clarifies why new filing options are needed. In addition, the FAQ document provides much greater detail on your filing options and processes.

For a recording of Monday's session, call 1-888-203-1112, passcode 227780573. Unfortunately, no recording is available for today’s session, but the content between Monday’s session and today’s is very similar.

Every day we receive new information that affects our recommendations to schools on how they should file. We learned yesterday afternoon that AT&T will be able to provide a tentative migration schedule for some schools by the middle of next week. This will be valuable information and should give schools a better basis for choosing a filing option.

In addition, Bob Bocher is working with USAC on solutions that will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of funding loss for Wisconsin schools.

So, before the end of next week we should be able to provide improved filing guidance. We will offer a call-in session on next Thursday, April 27, at 2:00, to provide this new information. We’ll send out dial-in information early next week.

We recommend that even after reviewing the FAQ, viewing the PowerPoint, and attending a call-in session, you wait to file your Form 471 for internet access until the end of next week, when better migration information should be available. This is cutting it closer than we would like, as the Form 471 filing deadline is May 11, but we think in most cases “sitting tight” will reduce your chance of losing funding. Of course, the decision of when to file is yours.

Bill Herman
Bob Bocher

Cross post:

Call-in sessions 4/17 and 4/19: Internet Access on BadgerNet: Choosing a Provider and Filing for E-rate

A reminder that DPI will host two call-in sessions to explain how to select an Internet access option on the new BadgerNet, and how to file the Form 471 for the option you choose.

The call-in sessions will be on Monday, April 17 at 1:30, and Wednesday, April 19 at 10:30. ​Call in at 1-877-820-7831, passcode 647831.

All districts now on BadgerNet will be migrating to the new BadgerNet, and will have several E-rate filing options for internet access. We have created an FAQ document and a PowerPoint to explain these options, and the advantages and drawbacks of each. You will not want to file your Form 471 for internet access until you have reviewed these materials (links are below).

Both sessions will cover the FAQ and PowerPoint, and answer questions that have been submitted. The sessions will be much more valuable to you if you have taken a few minutes to review the FAQ and PowerPoint​ in advance.

We expect (and hope!) that there will be a lot of people on the call. If you want to make sure we have time to answer your questions, please submit them in advance.

See the DPI E-rate Learning Library for links to the presentation.

Cross post --

To all current and potential TEACH/BadgerNet customers:

You might have seen yesterday's announcement from TEACH that WiscNet has been added as an Internet service option on the new BadgerNet.

We have been studying the E-rate implications of this announcement. We are working on an FAQ and a PowerPoint that we will post on the DPI E-rate site early next week. This will help you understand how you should file Form 471's for Internet access in 2017-2018. (If others in your district share E-rate responsibilities, please forward this message to them.)

In addition, we will hold call-in sessions on Monday, April 17 at 1:30, and Wednesday, April 19 at 10:30. (The sessions will be identical.) Call in at: 1-877-820-7831, passcode: 647831.

The sessions will continue until we have responded to all callers' questions.

We urge you not to file a form 471 for Internet access until you have had a chance to study the FAQ and the PowerPoint, and have attended a call-in session if you have questions, which is not unlikely.

While we advise waiting to file the Form 471, we do encourage you to file a 470 for Internet access, if you've not already done so. The absolute last day to file a 470 is next Thursday, April 13, 10:59pm CDT.

Have a great weekend!

Bob Bocher
Bill Herman

To the E-rate community:

USAC announced yesterday that the Form 471 filing window is now open​, meaning that you can go into EPC and file, if you have waited at least 28 days after filing related Form 470s.

The Form 471 filing window will close on May 11 at 10:59 PM CST.

We recommend that you file any Form 470s at least six weeks before the Form 471 filing deadline, so that you have time to comfortably review bids and then file.

Therefore, we recommend that you file all Form 470s not later than March 30.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Herman
E-rate/Broadband Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

To the E-rate community --

[cross post]

** The deadline to update your district's or school's EPC profile is 10:59pm CST this Sunday, Feb. 26. **

A reminder that you should use your 2015-2016 enrollment and Free/Reduced data (last year's) for all E-rate 2017 Form 471s. This is because we will not have 2016-2017 data ready by February 26, which is the deadline for entering updated enrollment and lunch data into EPC.

Using 2015-16 data will simplify your application, as all you need to do is go into the EPC profiles for each of your schools and make sure that the enrollment and Free/Reduced numbers that are already in EPC match DPI's 2015-2016 numbers. These will be accepted by USAC. (Note: For some schools PIA may have changed their numbers as part of approving their 2016 application. If this was done the changed numbers will appear in EPC and you should accept them.)

You should go into your district and building EPC profiles by the end of this week to confirm these numbers, and to make sure that all other information in EPC is correct. You will not have the opportunity to make any revisions after February 26.

Bill Herman
E-rate/Broadband Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

We are building a new school that will be opening Dec 2017. I am in the process of filing 470s for work being done in the new building this year. Do I add that school as a new entity now?

A couple questions about category 2 funding: I've submitted a couple of 470s for work we'd like to do over the summer, can I order the equipment now and submit the invoices for reimbursement at a later time, when I'm informed of the funding decision? Do I have to wait until a certain date before I can purchase the equipment to make sure my purchase isn't ruled ineligible? We'd like to do all of the work over the summer so we'd like to purchase the equipment now to get things rolling but I don't want to make a mistake that will prevent us from using the funding. Any help is appreciated, thank you.

What is the deadline date for filing Form 470 this year? I looked at the calendar on the erate site but it still has last year's date. Thanks
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