First things first. Whether or not you’re aware of the proposed E-Rate reform, there’s some important dates within the next month or so that should be on your calendar.
If you filed your 470 but haven’t yet certified it, please be sure to do so by Wednesday, March 26. Despite what the screen shows, there’s no security code needed.
If your Form 470’s 28-day competitive bidding period hasn’t expired―or if it has expired but you haven’t yet signed your contract(s)―you can still at least begin your Form 471 online by completing Blocks 1, 4 and 6 (Blocks 2 and 3 no longer exist).
After the 28-day waiting period has expired and your contract is signed, you can then complete Block 5 with the relevant vendor, 470 and contract/pricing information. Don’t forget to print and save your 471 number and security code when starting your Form 471 so when you return to finish the application you can gain access.
If your 28-day waiting period has expired―meaning your Allowable Contract Date (ACD) has passed―you can submit your 471 if you have conducted your bid evaluation, selected your vendors, obtained board approval (if local policy requires), and signed your contract(s).
How Do You Know What the Allowable Contract Date Is?
The Allowable Contract Date (ACD) is the 29th day after you hit submit on your Form 470. The ACD is the first date that you are permitted to hit submit on your Form 471.
To find out your ACD, go back to the “apply online” page on the SLD website and choose the “Search Posted” option. Then type-in your 470 number (or your ZIP code if you don’t have your 470 number handy) and print a complete, clean copy of your application (leave the 470 security code blank as there is no such thing). At the top of the completed form it will show you your allowable contract date (ACD).
Mark you calendars: The Form 470 deadline is Wednesday, February 26. Please keep in mind that Form 471 has been slightly modified from previous years.
The Form 471 deadline is Wednesday, March 26.