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ESC Region 12 E-Rate Consulting Support Center



Newcomers to E-Rate often become confused with all of the program's acronyms. Here are a few key acronyms together with a brief description.

ESC Region 12 E-Rate Consulting Services

Acronyms Used in E-Rate
For a complete USAC list, click here.

ADA Anti-Deficiency Act. Under ADA, new E-Rate commitments are limited to un-obligated funds on hand, leading to funding freezes and delays. E-Rate is operating under a temporary ADA exemption for 2005. Legislation is pending to make this exemption permanent.

BEAR Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement form (FCC Form 472). The applicant form used to invoice USAC for E-Rate discounts on a retroactive basis (when the service provider does not discount applicant bills directly).
BEN Billed Entity Number. An E-Rate program identification number associated with
applicants, organizations, or other entities that are billed for E-Rate eligible services.
BEN's are a subset of Entity Numbers which are assigned to all E-Rate participating
organizations and facilities.

CIPA Children’s Internet Protection Act. A law requiring E-Rate applicants to have an Internet Safety Policy and to filter Internet service. CIPA applies only to applicants applying for Internet Access and Internal Connections discounts.

COMAD Commitment Adjustment. A procedure initiated when a SLD funding error is uncovered as a result of additional information and/or review. If funding has already been disbursed, the COMAD procedure will lead to a request for repayment from either the applicant or service provider.

COPAN. Looks like, but is not actually an acronym. Refers to a FCC decision on an appeal by Copan (OK) Public Schools that established the rules governing SPIN changes.

CSB - Client Service Bureau. The SLD’s helpline and data entry organization located in Lawrence, KS. More complex issues are handled by a smaller, related organization called the Technical Client Service Bureau (“TCSB”). The CSB can be reached by calling 888-203-8100.

DCIA Debt Collection Improvement Act. As applied to the FCC, a law prohibiting any entity owing monies to the FCC from receiving additional benefits.

FCC - Federal Communications Commission. The FCC has overall administrative authority for the Universal Service Fund, generally, and the E-Rate program, specifically.

FCCRN - FCC Registration Number. An identification number assigned to any entity, including E-Rate participants, doing business with the FCC. The FCC also refers to these numbers as “FRN's”.

FCDL Funding Commitment Decision Letter. A commitment letter sent to an applicant listing the funding decisions made on every request in the applicant’s Form 471 application. A separate version of the FCDL is also sent the service provider to report funding decisions affecting that provider.

NIF - Non-Instructional Facility. A facility owned or controlled by an E-Rate applicant that is not officially recognized as a school or library (e.g., administrative office, bus garage, etc.).

NSLP - National School Lunch Program. The free and reduced-priced lunch program that provides the primary indication of school poverty levels upon which an applicant’s discount rate is determined.

PIA - Program Integrity Assurance. The SLD’s application review organization operating out of Whippany, NJ.

RAL - Receipt Acknowledgement Letter. A RAL is sent to the applicant to acknowledge the successful filing of a Form 471 application and to permit the applicant to make limited corrections to the application before review. A separate version of the RAL is also sent the associated service providers to report funding requests affecting those providers.

RNL - Receipt Notification Letter. RNL's are sent to the applicant when the SLD has accepted and successfully processed a Form 470. Other notification letters are sent in connection with processed appeals, BEAR's, Form 486's, and Form 500's. SLD Schools and Libraries Division. The division of USAC responsible for the 0perating administration of the E-Rate program.

SPAC - Service Provider Annual Certification form (FCC Form 473). An E-Rate vendor is required to file a general certification form for each funding year. USAC will not pay any invoice (BEAR or SPI) for any funding year for which a SPAC has not been filed.

SPI - Service Provider Invoice form (FCC Form 474). The service provider form used to invoice USAC for E-Rate discounts provided directly to applicants. The SPI is sometimes referred to as a “SPIF.”

SPIN - Service Provider Identification Number. A unique, nine-digit, identification number assigned to service providers for E-Rate purposes.

TCSB - Technical Client Service Bureau. See “CSB”, above.

USAC - Universal Service Administrative Company. A private company established by the FCC for the operating administration of the Universal Service Fund. The SLD is one division of USAC.

WFA Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. E-Rate problems, highlighted in the press and in Congress, driving a number of new rules and review procedures.