E-Rate Item 21 Attachments and Deadlines: Might As Well Learn to Love Them


Windstream guides K-12 schools and library through the E-Rate Form 471 and Item 21 Attachments submission process.

March 26th……March 26th….March 26th…. It’s a date that has been tattooed on my brain over the past few weeks, and I hope it’s been top of mind for you, too! Because not only is that the deadline to submit E-Rate Form 471 applications, it’s also the deadline for Item 21 Attachments.

Item 21 Attachments provide a detailed description of the services in each funding request. And it’s imperative to submit them by the deadline, or your Form 471 will be considered incomplete, rendering your E-Rate funding application void for the year – and none of us want that. Although Item 21 Attachments are filed separately, they directly impact the approval of Form 471.

Item 21 Attachments can be filed online or by email, fax or standard mail—however, USAC recommends filing the document online, which is actually pretty simple—just follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Click on the “Item 21 Attachment” button. This button can be located on the USAC Apply Online page. (It’s the last button in the “Form 471” column.)
  2. Enter billed entity number, Form 471 application number and security code. This information can be found on the Form 471, previously filed online.
  3. Provide service requests. Remember to include the following information:
    • Number of lines and extensions for telecommunications services
    • Bandwidth for digital transmission services
    • Bandwidth and type of circuit for Internet access
    • Make, model and stock-keeping unit (SKU) for equipment, and
    • Make, model and SKU of the equipment requiring maintenance
  4. Click “Submit”. The Item 21 Attachment will not be submitted until the “Submit” button has been clicked. Selecting “Save and Exit” will NOT submit the document to USAC.

Not sure what your Item 21 Attachment should look like? Check out these examples of Item 21 Attachments for each category of service. And did you know? You may be able to use a current phone bill or a copy of your contract as your Item 21 Attachment! 

E-Rate is a great program that helps our schools and libraries afford the technologies necessary to keep up with 21st century learning initiatives, but the process can be confusing. One misstep could cost an applicant thousands of dollars in funding, or worse, it could jeopardize funding altogether.

With so much on the line, thousands of schools and libraries across the country are turning to Windstream as their trusted E-Rate partner. And with good reason – Windstream boasts a long, successful history in the program. In fact, we’ve had a team of experts in place since the program’s inception in 1997. We’ve helped many of our customers better understand and navigate the process – so if you’re interested in learning more about Windstream’s smart solutions, personalized service for K-12 schools and libraries, contact one of our trusted E-Rate Advisors. Don’t wait; deadlines are rapidly approaching.