The Form 470 "Description of Services Requested and Certification Form" is the first form that
must be filed by a school or library in the E-Rate application process. Its primary purpose is to briefly
describe the applicant, provide a point of contact, and indicate any new E-rate eligible services that the
applicant will be seeking. Much of the information requested is designed to be useful to, and to be made
available to, potential vendors, and they, in turn, will use the information contained on the Form to
IMPORTANT: No E-rate eligible service can receive discounts unless it was first competitively bid on the
SLD web site using the Form 470. Don‟t forget this when signing new contracts in mid-funding year.
Always make sure the 470 has been posted before signing new contracts.
Window to Submit
The Form 470 must be posted for at least 28 calendar days before a school or library can sign a
contract. A contract or agreement must be in place before the next form, Form 471, can be submitted to
the SLD. And because there is a very specific window for the Form 471, applicants must be certain that
the 470 is posted AT LEAST 30 days (at least 40 days suggested) in order to sign a contract, complete
the 471 and have it POSTMARKED by the last day of the window.
There is no “window” to submit the 470; it may be done at any time prior to the 29-day black hole
before the close of the 471 window. For example, if a district is going to bid for new school construction
and they want to make sure that the internal wiring for the school and its phone system are E-rate eligible,
they would post the 470 at the same time they bid the construction – which could be a year or more
before the 471 window opens.
The only exception to the “anytime 470 rule” is for tariffed or month-to-month services. These
services must be bid (meaning a 470 must be posted) after July 1 of the year preceding the funding year.
For example, for a tariffed service for Year 6 (beginning July 1, 2003), the 470 could be posted anytime
between July 1, 2002 and the 471 black hole period (30 days prior to the close of the 471 window).
Who Must Submit
All entities seeking E-rate discounts on eligible services must have had these services
competitively bid on the SLD‟s E-rate web site using the Form 470. All month-to-month, tariffed services,
and one-year contracts must be re-bid each year on the SLD web site. The only exception to the 470
posting rule is is if a multi-year contract is signed after the initial 470 posting, the entity does not need to
re-post a 470 for the remaining years of the contract.
The entity that will negotiate with service providers should be the entity submitting the 470. For
example, if the school district signs contracts on behalf of its schools, the district would submit the 470
instead of the local school. Vendors are not allowed to prepare, submit or sign 470 applications and the
SLD will reject such applications if they find such evidence of vendor tampering.
Ways to Submit
There are two ways to submit the Form 470: online or by mail.
The application must be completed on the SLD web site: www.sl.universalservice.org.
o It is not possible to complete an Excel version and upload it to the SLD.
o It is possible to begin an application, save it, and finish it later.
o The signature/certification page may be printed and mailed to the SLD, or if you have filed before,
you may use the new eCertification to file this document.
o Filing online is the preferred method because of error checking and speed of posting.
o Form must be printed from SLD web site, completed, and mailed to the SLD.
o It is available at: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/form/
o 28 day bidding period begins when SLD data-enters your information, not when you mail the
What Information You’ll Need
Your entity number
Services you‟re requesting
Who will be responsible for questions about the application
Who will be responsible for questions about the services being requested
Area codes and exchange codes of buildings receiving services
Name of entity paying the bill and its entity number
Any restrictions that you want to place on vendors who see your 470
Bidding According to State Law
Public institutions: Be certain that if items requested on the 470 are required to be bid under state law,
that you post these items for bidding advertisement at the same time. Competitively bidding on the SLD
website does not exempt you from bidding at the local level according to the school code.
If you submit a 470 and later realize you’ve made a mistake
This is not a problem if you filed your original 470 early enough. Simply file a new, corrected 470. The
original one will simply die and you shouldn‟t ever use that USCN number again. Don‟t forget that the
only way this works is if you have 30 days left before the close of the 471 window to allow yourself 28
posting days, 1 day to prepare and overnight your application to the SLD, and 1 day for the SLD to
Specific Form 470 Application Tips
Tip 1: Entity Numbers are required to identify applicants.
The "Entity Number" in Item (3) used to be called the "Billed Entity Number."
First time applicants can be assigned Entity Numbers by calling the SLD help line, 888-203-8100.
All entity numbers are available on the SLD website at:
Tip 2: Assign a good identifier.
A good form identifier will save you time hunting the correct form later. It is especially
helpful if you are working on several years‟ applications. Good examples are: “yr6-local”
or “yr 6-internet”
Tip 3: In Block 2, Item 7, check a, b, and c if you’re unsure which it is or which it will be.
There is no harm in checking that you‟re not sure if the service will be purchased from
tariff, month-to-month, or on a new contract. As a general rule:
o tariffed services are only telecommunications services
o month-to-month services are generally internet, paging and cellular services
o a new contract can be signed for any services, including telecom and internet
o item d is rarely ever used and should not be checked unless you are one of the
rare exceptions that has a contract that was signed 6 years ago and will still be in
existence in Year 6.
Tip 4: In Block 2, Items 8-10, be as broad and inclusive as possible in summarizing needs
or service requested.
If you request 56K but later want T1 speed, the SLD will not approve the change because the T1
was not posted to the SLD web site for all potential T1 providers to respond. It is better to
request “56K or greater” on the Form 470 to provide some room to grow.
If you‟re not certain whether the service you are requesting is a telecommunications service,
Internet access, or internal connections, put the request under all three categories. Likewise, if
you are unsure whether you will be signing a contract with a telecommunications provider or a
non-telecommunications provider for telecom services, it is best to put the request in all 3
categories. You will have to establish a funding category by the time you submit your 471, but at
least you will have covered your bases during the competitive bidding process.
Tip 5: On item 12, list any restrictions you want to place on vendors during the bid process.
Use this item as your friend. If you don‟t want to receive faxed or e-mailed bids, state it here. If
you want to require that all vendors attend a pre-bid walk-through, state it here. If you want only
discounted bills, state that only such capable vendors should submit bids to you.
Tip 6: Item (13) is truly optional.
Complete only if you want to encourage vendors to contact you regarding possible future
Tip 7: Suggestions for completing Block 3: Technology Assessment.
Avoid checking "Basic telephone service only" in Item (14) unless you are absolutely sure that is
the only service you need.
Item (15) is easy to complete. When in doubt, check both "has been purchased" and "is being
sought." Caution: if you check „is being sought‟, you will get calls from computer vendors,
electrical installers, software vendors, and many others who take this item to mean that you are
asking for their services.
Item (15f) is truly optional.
Tip 8: School districts, library systems, and consortiums must fill out Block 4 carefully.
At a minimum, all applicants must check one of the categories in Item (16) and complete one line
in Item (17).
School districts, library systems, and consortiums must complete the table associated with Item
(16c) by entering the number of eligible sites (e.g., school district buildings) and the area code(s)
and the first three digits of the local telephone numbers (call exchange codes) of all sites covered
by the application. If multiple sites are in the same area code or exchange code, only list it once.
Tip 9: Carefully complete the certifications and sign and date the application.
Both the FCC and the SLC take these certifications seriously and so should the applicant. Be
prepared to support a review of the Item (23) certification that conditions E-Rate funding on the
availability of supporting equipment and services.
Remember that even if the Form 470 is completed online, the signature/certification page must be
mailed to the SLD, or if you have filed before, it may be completed using the new eCertification
It is suggested that all forms and certifications sent to the SLC be made by registered or express
mail so that a receipt can be obtained proving delivery. Delivery for most express mail services
can be tracked on the delivery service's web site.
Tip 10: Carefully note the Form 470 Application # assigned by the SLD.
In the program's first two years, the 470 Application Number was known as the USCN, or
Universal Service Control Number.
When completing a Form 470 online, the Application # will be assigned early in the process. Print
it out… it will enable you to complete a half-finished application later.
When submitting a Form 470 by mail, the SLD will send back a receipt acknowledgment letter
containing the 470 Application # after data entry.
The 470 Application # will be required in Item (12) of Form 471 for each Funding Request.
Services originally posted on the Form 470 in one year, then provided under a multi-year
contract, need not be posted again on a Form 470 until the contract comes up for renewal. When
requesting a discount on a Form 471 under a multi-year contract, the 470 Application # in Item
(12) should be the number of the original Form 470 filed prior to negotiating the contract.