Updated June 2018
To open a competitive bidding process, applicants post one or more FCC Forms 470 to the USAC website. Service providers can review and respond to bids based on the information contained in an FCC Form 470 and, if one is issued, a request for proposal (RFP) or similar bidding document.
The entity that will run the competitive bidding process – the applicant, a state procurement agency, or another entity authorized to negotiate on the applicant's behalf – must ensure that the competitive bidding process is open and fair and must be prepared to receive and evaluate bids and negotiate with service providers.
RFPs are not required for Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program purposes, but applicants must issue RFPs if they are required by state or local competitive bidding rules. Applicants may also choose to issue RFPs to provide more information than is available on an FCC Form 470 or for other reasons. If an applicant issues an RFP, it must be attached and uploaded with the online FCC Form 470. If the applicant amends or modifies the RFP, the updated amendment or other bid-related documentation must be added to the FCC Form 470 and uploaded into the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
Applicants can consider an existing contract as a bid response and evaluate that contract along with the other bids received. The existing contract may be chosen as the winning bid if it is the most cost-effective solution. The date the applicant decided to stay with the existing contract is considered the contract award date for the associated funding year. (This date must be at least 28 days after the applicant posted their FCC Form 470.)
There are three ways for service providers to review FCC Form 470 information:
Note that there are two additional tools on USAC’s website that can be used to view and download FCC Forms 470 information from Funding Year 2015 and previous years.
Service providers must be compliant with all E-rate Program rules and all applicable state and local procurement rules and regulations, including any competitive bidding requirements. You should also review the FCC Form 470 and RFP for specific requirements related to the competitive bidding process and make sure to follow them.
Internet access service may be exempt from the FCC Form 470 posting requirement if the following requirements are met:
Your actions must not compromise the competitive bidding process. You should avoid conduct that gives the appearance that the competitive bidding requirements have been compromised or the process is not fair and open.
The services you provide may be eligible, ineligible, or partially or conditionally eligible. Your bid responses (and contracts, if you are chosen as the service provider) should clearly identify ineligible services and provide cost allocations for services that are partially or conditionally eligible.
If your bid is chosen as the most cost-effective service offering by an applicant, you can negotiate a contract (for services other than those provided under tariff or a month-to-month arrangement) with the applicant, and you can assist the applicant, as needed, with filing the FCC Form 471 and undergoing application review that may require additional information about the requested services and/or equipment.