SPI vs. BEAR
Under the E-Rate program, there are two ways of being reimbursed for technology services: SPI or BEAR.
What is SPI (Service Provider Invoice -- FCC Form 474)?
SPI is the service provider form used to invoice USAC for E-Rate discounts provided directly to applicants. The SPI is sometimes referred to as a “SPIF.”
Using the SPI method, your service provider charges you for the portion of your bill for which you are responsible. On the back end, your service provider submits the SPI form to obtain reimbursement from the government for the remainder of the total amount of the service.
What is BEAR (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement -- FCC Form 472)
BEAR is the applicant form used to invoice USAC for E-Rate discounts on a retroactive basis (when the service provider does not discount applicant bills directly).
Using the BEAR method, your service provider's invoice will reflect the full amount of the service. You are responsible to pay the full amount and file the BEAR form to receive reimbursement from USAC.
Which One Does Nitel Support?
Nitel uses the SPI method for its E-Rate clients. Our clients benefit in the following ways:
- Eliminate paperwork associated with filing the BEAR form
- Reduce the financial burden of paying the gross amount of the invoice before reimbursement can take place