E-Rate Term Glossary

Get With the Program.

Use the following E-Rate terminology glossary to understand the various acronyms and terms frequently used in USAC language. These definitions are consistent with all terms as defined by USAC, and can be used in communications between USAC and E-Rate applicants.

Please feel free to contact Jive Education if you have any questions about E-Rate, USAC, or the E-Rate funding application process.

Applicant-created Identifier

A unique number created and used by the applicant on their SLD forms.

Billed Entity

The organization that pays the bills for services delivered.


Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Client Service Bureau (CSB)

SLD’s E-rate “Help Desk” where applicants and service providers can get answers to questions.

Common Carrier

Any telecommunications company that provides telecommunications services for a fee to the general public. Common carrier status is usually conferred by the public utilities commission in each state.


A combination of organizations within a community with common communication needs and a plan for community infrastructure. It may include both eligible and ineligible organizations, but E-rate discounts can only be applied to the portion of the services received by eligible entities.

Contract Award Date

The date a contract for services was signed. In order to be e-rate eligible, this date must be no earlier than the 29th day after the 470 has been submitted.

Eligible Entity

Any school, library or consortium eligible to participate in the E-rate program.

Entity Number

A number (usually 6-7 digits) assigned to each applicant, used to track applications for that applicant at SLD. Often called the billed entity number.


“Education Rate” The name commonly used to describe the Federal Universal Fund discount program for schools and libraries.


Federal Communications Commission. The FCC interprets the statute passed by Congress and writes the rules governing all universal service support programs, including the E-rate program.


Funding Commitment Decision Letter informs the applicant of the level of discount that has been awarded on each funding request.

Form 470

Description of Services Requested is first form required by applicants.

Form 470 Number

A 15-digit number (formerly the USCN) assigned to all Form 470 Applications.

Form 470 Receipt Notification Letter

Sent to applicants informing them of the date their 470 was posted to the SLD web-site for the beginning of the minimum 28 day bidding period.

Form 471

The Services Ordered form is the second form required by applicants.

Form 471 Number

Assigned to each Form 471 filed and can be up to 10-digits. Used to track the 471 at the SLD.

Form 472

The Billed Entity Application for Reimbursement (BEAR) form filed by applicants seeking reimbursements of their discount amount for internal connection bills paid in full by the applicant.

Form 473

The Service Provider Annual Certification form required to be filed annually by participating vendors. (not used by school and library applicants).

Form 474

The Service Provider Invoice form used to invoice the SLD for E-rate discounts given (not used by school and library applicants).

Form 486

Notifies the SLD that service has started and it is “ok” to begin paying the vendor’s invoices. Beginning Year 4, it also certifies CIPA compliance.

Form 500

Applicants use this form to notify the SLD of changes in start/expiration dates of contract or cancellation/reduction of funding request for a given FRN.


Funding Request Number. An FRN is assigned to each Block 5 of the Form 471 and is given a separate approval/denial status on the FCDL. Beginning FY 2005, a FCC Registration number is also required for those filing for E-rate. This FCC Registration Number is also known as a FRN.


Federal Universal Service Fund reimburses vendors for delivering discounted services to eligible customers.

Internal Connections

The wires and equipment needed for connecting computers within an entity. It includes inside wiring and cable, servers and routers, and installation, necessary to transport information to the classroom.

Internet Access

Any communication service (dial-up, DSL, broadband, etc.) that connects a modem or computer to the Internet via a dial-up or dedicated line.


Local Area Network. A short-distance data communications network (typically within a building or campus) used to link computers and peripheral devices, such as printers. For E-rate purposes, the LAN must meet the definition of internal connections.

Month-to-month contract

Services billed on a monthly basis without a formal, written contract.


National Exchange Carriers Association. Formed in 1983 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a not-for-profit membership corporation, NECA plays an important role in administering the FCC’s access charge plan and other similar federal programs.


Plain Old Telephone Service for placing and receiving phone calls.

Pre-Discount Cost

The cost of service before any discount is applied.

Program Integrity Assurance (PIA)

SLD Team that reviews for compliance with the FUSF program rules.


Receipt Acknowledgement Letter sent after complete data entry of a Form 471. Provides application number.

Service Provider/Vendors

A business or organization that sells connections or equipment necessary for communications.

Shared Services

Services delivered to more than one site; discount based on average or aggregate level.

Site Specific Services

Services delivered to only one site.


The Schools and Libraries Division of USAC is responsible for administering FUSF.


A 9-digit number given to service providers after submitting their Form 473. The SPIN(s) is(are) needed by applicants for completion of the 471.

Tariffed Services

Telephone service (local and long distance) regulated by state and federal officials.

Universal Service Fund

Same as FUSF above.


The Universal Service Administrative Company is the parent company responsible for overseeing the administration of FUSF and the SLD.


A network that provides connections from computers within an eligible school or library to more computers or networks to another location beyond the eligible school or library. For E-rate purposes, applicants can request discounts on leasing these services from a telecommunications carrier, but cannot purchase this type of network. See SLD web-site for a special fact sheet on WAN’s.

Weighted Average

The calculated amount of discount that reflects the number of students eligible for the National Free Lunch Program for a school district.


Time during which all Form 471′s are treated as if filed on the same day.