Guest Author:

Dan Leister, E-rate Manager

Cisco U.S. Public Sector


On December 20th of last year, USAC announced the annual Form 471 filing window dates for E-rate Funding Year 2020 applications. This window opened January 15, 2020 and will close March 25, 2020, running for 70 days. But as you prepare your application, there are a few important things you should remember. Doing so can help your experience with the E-rate process go smoother. Plus, our E-rate experts offer ten tips to consider that can help you maximize your school’s E-rate dollars.


3 key things you need to know about E-rate funding in 2020

  1. E-rate program rules require that competitive bids be open for a minimum of 28 calendar days.
  2. The last date that a competitive bid may be started in any given Funding Year is 28 days before the Form 471 window closes (more info here).
  3. For Funding Year 2020, this means that applicants will have until February 26, 2020 to file Form 470 (more info here) and still have the required 28 days for competitive bidding.

The FY2020 Form 471 window timeline closely follows FY2019’s window, which ran 70 days from January 16, 2019 to March 27, 2019.


E-rate funding 10 tips


E-rate funding for FY2020 Category Two budget multipliers

On December 19, 2019, the FCC released an Order which provides applicants with the multipliers which should be used to calculate Category Two budgets for FY2020. The multipliers include an adjustment for inflation as well as a 20% increase as specified by their December 3rd C2 reform Report and Order.

The multipliers are:

  • Schools: $195.63 per student
  • Libraries with IMLS Locale Codes 11, 12, 21: $6.52 per square foot
  • Libraries with all other IMLS Locale Codes: $3.00 per square foot
  • Entities at the Funding Floor: $11,998.43 per site.

Lay the foundation for your students’ success. Use E-rate funding to modernize your district’s network infrastructure. Visit Cisco’s E-rate product eligibility database.