Form 470 Guides & Templates

As you put out your request for network upgrades, driving competition and flexibility will ensure that you can obtain better service without significantly increasing cost. In the pages linked below we outline some best practices we’ve seen E-rate applicants utilize to submit a Form 470 that solicits competitive and flexible provider bids for network upgrades.

Top 5 Tips for Filing your 470

  1. Make sure your narrative explains your requirements in detail. If you are not attaching an RFP, the narrative field on the Form 470 is your only opportunity to describe what you are seeking in detail. Many applicants leave the narrative blank or simply write a few words. The service request lines only provide the most basic information and there are many factors that go into providing these services. Even a short paragraph can supply a vendor the necessary information they need to submit a complete proposal. Think about it this way: would you purchase a new car by simply telling a salesperson “Truck, 8 cylinder” and then just buy whatever they bring you?
  2. If you specify a particular manufacturer or model of equipment in your narrative or RFP, follow it with the words "or equivalent". Specifying a particular model without being open to equivalent equipment by different manufacturers can be interpreted as stating a preference, which is a violation of E-rate’s fair and competitive bidding policies.
  3. Note that if you intend to purchase off a state contract you may not have to file your own Form 470. Please see this news brief published by USAC on April 14, 2017 for more information.
  4. You must comply with state and local procurement laws. Do not assume that E-rate rules also satisfy these laws.
  5. If you are attaching an RFP to your Form 470, the service requests on the form MUST match the services the RFP is requesting.

Get specific tips and narrative template language on Category 1 and Category 2 Form 470's.