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 amongst E-rate applicants for submitting a Form 470 to solicit competitive and flexible provider bids to upgrade their networks.

Top 5 Tips for Filing your 470

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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.

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. Even a short paragraph can supply a vendor the necessary information they need to submit a complete proposal.

4

You must comply with state and local procurement laws.

Do not assume that E-rate rules also satisfy these laws.

2

Use 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.

5

The service requests on the form MUST match the services the RFP is requesting.

If you are attaching an RFP to your Form 470.

Cat 1 & Cat 2 Best Practices


Form 470 Narrative Examples

The way your Form 470 narrative is written depends on if you are attaching an RFP. It is also important to know if you are required to write an RFP based on the services you are requesting.
Yes, I am attaching an RFP


Since you are writing an RFP, your Form 470 narrative does not need to be detailed. A simple sentence such as "See RFP for details." is sufficient. Get started structuring your RFP using our high-quality templates.

No, I am not attaching an RFP


In the absence of an RFP, a well written Form 470 narrative is incredibly important. Below is some high-quality template language for your narrative if you are seeking leased lit fiber Internet access or WAN connections. As every district is different it is impossible to build a template that is “one size fits all”, so remember to adapt these to meet your own local needs and regulations or contact us for template language specific to your scenario.

Category 1 Form 470 Guidance

There are a number of critical sections in the Form 470. Completing these sections in a way that gets you the best possible future outcome can make a significant difference in the value of your broadband investment.

Service Request Section & Input Guidance

Function


Ensure you select the appropriate function for the service your school district is seeking. A definition of these services has been provided.

  • Leased Lit Fiber (with or without Internet Access)
    • Point to point transport connection delivered over leased lit fiber
    • Internet access service delivered over leased lit fiber
    • Use your narrative to specify whether the request is for Internet access or point to point transport.
  • Internet Access & Transport Bundled (Non-Fiber)
    • Internet access service delivered over copper, wireless, or any type of non-fiber circuit
    • DO NOT use this for a fiber based Internet connection
  • Transport Only - No ISP Service Included (Non-Fiber)
    • Point to point transport connection delivered over copper, wireless, or any type of non-fiber circuit
    • DO NOT use this for any type of fiber circuit
  • Internet Access: ISP Service Only (No Transport Circuit Included)
    • Internet access service with no transport circuit
  • Leased Dark Fiber and Leased Lit Fiber
    • Use this for either a traditional dark fiber lease or an IRU
    • Automatically includes leased lit fiber request per competitive bidding rules
  • Self-Provisioned Network (Applicant Owned and Operated Network) and Services Provided Over Third-Party Networks
    • Automatically includes additional request for services required by competitive bidding rules
  • Network Equipment
    • Use this function to request Category 1 eligible network equipment necessary to place leased dark fiber or self-provisioning into service.
  • Maintenance & Operations
    • Maintenance and operations services for leased dark fiber or a self-provisioned network


Quantity

This field is used to enter the physical quantity of the service you are requesting. In most cases it will be the quantity of circuits, except for the following services:

  • Internet Access: ISP Service Only (No Transport Circuit Included)- not applicable since there is no physical circuit with this service
  • Leased Dark Fiber - quantity of fiber strands
  • Self-Provisioned Networks - quantity of fiber strands
  • Network Equipment - number of sites you need network equipment for
  • Maintenance & Operations - number of circuits you need this service for


Minimum Capacity

Enter the minimum bandwidth you require for this request. If you are unsure, a good guideline to use as a minimum is the 2014 FCC bandwidth goal.
Note: This field is not applicable for Leased Dark Fiber or Self-Provisioned service types. However, It is required for Network Equipment and Maintenance & Operations. In these cases, select the speed you are intending to light the fiber at on day one.


Maximum Capacity

Enter the maximum bandwidth you will require within the life of the contract. If you are unsure, a good guideline to use as a maximum is the 2018 FCC bandwidth goal. EducationSuperHighway recommends you select a range of bandwidth speeds that will allow you to upgrade as district bandwidth demand grows.
Note: This field is not applicable for Leased Dark Fiber or Self-Provisioned service types. However, It is required for Network Equipment and Maintenance & Operations. In the case of Network Equipment, think about the expected life of the equipment and select a higher speed you would expect to upgrade to during this life cycle. For Maintenance & Operations, select the maximum speed you expect to have these connections operating at during the life of the service contract.


Number of entities served?

  • Enter the total number of schools and/or buildings that will be served by the services requested.


Are you seeking Installation, Activation, and Initial Configuration for this service?

To ensure you can evaluate all costs equitably across any submitted bids, we recommend you select ‘Yes.’

Installment Payment Plan & Input Guidance

Are you seeking an installment payment plan for the non-discounted portion of any special construction charges with the request(s) listed above?

If you expect special construction charges associated with a service request, it is recommended you select 'Yes.'
If you select 'No' then you will not have to complete the next two questions.
Read more about the payment plan option here.

Over how many years do you wish to amortize the costs?


Using the two dropdown boxes, specify the range of years you would like for a payment plan. The first box is for the minimum and the second is for the maximum.

Do you prefer annual or monthly payments?


Select 'Annual' if you would prefer the payments to be in equal amounts billed once per year. Select 'Monthly' if you would prefer equal payments to be billed every month.


When filing a Category 2 Form 470, it is good to remember:

  • If you select any specific manufacturer in the service request line, it will automatically include the words "or equivalent." If you include language in a narrative or RFP specifying a manufacturer or model of equipment, make sure to include these words. Failure to do so will result in a denial or adjustment of your funding request.
  • For structured cabling jobs, it is highly recommended you write an RFP. At a minimum maps and building floorplans should be included.
  • In many states, structured cabling jobs are seen as a capital improvement project. Sometimes the laws for these projects are different from normal purchases, so make sure you understand all the local and state requirements.
  • Get started structuring your RFP using our high-quality templates.

Category 2 Form 470 Guidance

There are a number of critical sections in the Form 470. Completing these sections in a way that gets you the best possible future outcome can make a significant difference in the value of your Wi-Fi upgrade.

Internal Connections

Field & Input Guidance

Function


Function

  • Antennas, Connectors, and Related Components
  • Cabling
  • Caching
  • Firewall Service and Components
  • Racks
  • Router
  • Switches
  • UPS/Battery Backup
  • WAP
  • Wireless Controller


Quantity

  • Enter the quantity of the equipment you selected for the function field
  • If you select the function cabling, the quantity units will be feet.


Manufacturer

  • The dropdown for this field is populated with all of the most common manufacturers of network equipment.
  • If you do not see a manufacturer you are seeking, then you can select "Other" and enter a description in the “Manufacturer Description” field that appears.
  • If you are not seeking a particular manufacturer, you can select "No Preference"


Number of Entities Served?

Enter how many of your entities this equipment will be for.


Are you seeking Installation, Activation and Initial Configuration for this service?

If you are solely looking for the equipment and not any services to install or configure it, select No. Otherwise select Yes.


Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections

Field & Input Guidance

Function

  • Antennas, Connectors, and Related Components
  • Cabling
  • Caching
  • Firewall Service and Components
  • Racks
  • Router
  • Switches
  • UPS/Battery Backup
  • WAP
  • Wireless Controller


Quantity

  • Enter the quantity of the equipment you selected for the function field
  • If you select the function cabling, the quantity units will be feet.


Manufacturer

  • The dropdown for this field is populated with all of the most common manufacturers of network equipment.
  • If you do not see a manufacturer you are seeking, then you can select "Other" and enter a description in the “Manufacturer Description” field that appears.
  • If you are not seeking a particular manufacturer, you can select "No Preference"


Number of Entities Served?

  • Enter how many of your entities this maintenance request will be for.

Managed Internal Broadband Service

Field & Input Guidance

Function

  • Leased Equipment - Select this if you are seeking services to supply and manage internal network equipment.
  • Existing Equipment - Select this if you already own the internal network equipment and just need services to manage it.


Number of Entities Served?

  • Enter the number of entities that will be served by this request.


Narrative Guidance

If you are attaching an RFP to your Form 470, you can simply write "See attached RFP for project details" in the narrative field.

If you are not attaching an RFP to your Form 470, write a simple description that accurately describes what you are asking for. Be sure to include as many details as necessary to ensure vendors can respond with an accurate and complete proposal. As mentioned above, if you mention any specific manufacturers or models of equipment in your narrative, you MUST follow it with the words “or equivalent".

Disclaimer: EducationSuperHighway (ESH) is providing these practices for informational purposes only and not as legal advice. ESH is not licensed to practice law and cannot provide legal advice. This document is not intended to substitute for your judgment. You assume full risk and responsibility for the use of or reliance on these practices or any information you obtain from ESH. ESH does not guarantee that the practices will adequately meet all your needs, and you are solely responsible for your use of this information or any RFPs you issue. For example, ESH’s document likely will not, and ESH makes no representations or warranties that this document will, cover all of the state and local procurement rules that may apply to services your district requests bids for. By using these practices you agree that ESH is not liable for any consequences from such use. If you have any questions or concerns about the contents of your service requests you should obtain legal counsel.