The following steps can be taken now to prepare for the initial Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program application filing window: (1) Obtain an FCC Registration Number; (2) Obtain a Billed Entity Number; and (3) Register with SAM.gov and obtain your Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). These steps can be completed before the application filing window opens.
FCC Registration Number
Schools, libraries, and service providers that have agreed to invoice on behalf of applicants must have an FCC Registration Number to participate in the ECF Program.
- Schools, libraries, and service providers can obtain an FCC Registration Number by visiting the FCC’s Commission Registration System (CORES) and completing the registration process. You will need your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to obtain an FCC Registration Number. For some employers, including state and local government agencies and non-profit organizations, the TIN is the IRS-issued Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- If a school, library, or service provider is already registered with the FCC, it does not need a new FCC Registration Number to apply for or receive support from the ECF Program.
- If you need to update your FCC Registration Number please go to CORES and click Update. Enter your FCC Registration Number and Password and click Continue. Complete the registration information and click Submit.
Billed Entity Number
E-Rate applicants that are already registered in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) will get access to the new ECF Portal with their existing credentials through One Portal, USAC’s multifactor authentication system. USAC is also copying all existing E-Rate entity numbers (also known as billed entity numbers or BENs) and their associated entities and their information into the ECF Portal. Applicants will have access to both EPC and the ECF Portal through One Portal and can apply for funding through the ECF Portal with their existing credentials and entity information.
Schools and libraries that are not registered in EPC and do not have an entity number in EPC will need to obtain one. After new entities and new users are created in EPC, that information will automatically be moved into the ECF Portal and you will be able to apply for support for the ECF Program through the ECF Portal.
Registration with SAM.gov
Applicants and service providers who will be submitting requests for reimbursement (FCC Forms 472/474) must have an active registration with the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Applicants whose service providers will file invoices on their behalf for ECF reimbursement (SPI invoicing) are not required to register in SAM.gov.
- Because SAM.gov registration is not required to participate in the E-Rate program, program participants may not have completed this registration previously. The SAM.gov registration process can take more than a week to be approved, so USAC recommends applicants and service providers who will be submitting requests for reimbursement (FCC Forms 472/474) begin the process now. Applicants can apply for the ECF Program, but applicants and service providers who will be submitting requests for reimbursement will not be able to receive payments until their SAM.gov registration is approved.
- If an applicant or service provider has already registered with SAM.gov, it does not need to register again, but all applicants and service providers already registered with SAM should check to ensure their SAM.gov registration has not expired or will not expire in the near future. Applicants and service providers who will submit requests for reimbursement (FCC Forms 472/474) for the ECF Program must have an active SAM.gov registration to receive payment.
Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
- On April 6, 2022, the FCC released Public Notice DA 22-371 which announces the transition from the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) effective April 4, 2022.
- Once you register in SAM.gov, you are automatically assigned a UEI. You can find it by signing into SAM.gov and selecting the Entity Management widget in your Workspace or by signing in and searching entity information.
- For questions about the DUNS to UEI transition, please visit the Contact USAC page to contact CSC.
Tribal Government Resource: Review the overview of the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Registration for Tribal Governments.
FAQs: Getting Started
Do I need a SAM.gov account if I am an annual E-Rate applicant?
Yes. SAM.gov registration is necessary for all applicants and service providers that are submitting requests for reimbursement (FCC Forms 472/474) and receiving funds from the U.S. government. Because this is not currently required to participate in the E-Rate program, applicants, who are planning to submit requests for reimbursement (FCC Form 472) and have not have registered before should begin the process now. Service providers that agree to invoice on behalf of applicants also need to be registered with SAM.gov. ECF Program applicants whose service providers will file invoices for program reimbursement on their behalf (SPI invoicing) are not required to register in SAM.gov.