ERATE Filing Deadline Updates for Funding Year 2016

An official bulletin was released late yesterday (1/25/16) announcing the ERATE 471 filing window would open on February 3, 2016 and close on April 29, 2016.

Those of you familiar with ERATE know that it is common practice to “work backwards” from the 471 filing deadline.

One needs to “work backwards” because it is impossible to file a 471 without having first issued a 470.  So the ‘real’ deadline is the last date that a 470 can be filed.   Why is this?

The 470 form is what establishes each school’s anticipated needs for telecom and internet related services.  But the 470 form also requires that you allow vendors time to submit potential proposals for the services that you have identified on your 470.   How much ‘time’ are you supposed to allow for these potential proposals?  The answer is 28 days.   Moving ‘backwards’ on the calendar (from April 29, 2016) leads us to about March 31st .  Therefore March 31st is the ‘truer’ deadline.  (ERATE will – in the coming days – firm this up but we feel confident that it will on/about the 31st of March.)

We had anticipated, based on years of historical ERATE data, the 470 deadline would be the end of February (the 28th or 29th).   Because of complexities with the new ERATE Portal the deadline is being extended for this year (and this year only) by about 4 weeks.

Please know that we will be facilitating additional workshops which will review topics already covered (such as creating the portal and filing your 470) and fresh topics (such as the new 471).

As always schools are welcomed and encouraged to contact us for any assistance.

Thank you.

John Rossi, Diocesan ERATE consultant

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Mr. Anthony Biscione
Senior Deputy Superintendent of Schools