FCC opens a second FY 2020 application window to make available additional E-Rate funding to schools in FY 2020 to purchase additional bandwidth needed to meet the unanticipated and increased demand for on-campus connectivity resulting from the pandemic. Schools may submit an FCC Form 471 during the second FY 2020 application window requesting E-Rate discounts without initiating a new competitive bidding process for the requested services if the applicant: (1) already sought bids for the services by posting an FCC Form 470; (2) received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter from USAC approving a FY 2020 funding request for eligible category one Internet access and/or data transmission services that relied on that FCC Form 470, or has such a funding request pending; and (3) requests additional E-Rate discounts during the second application window to purchase additional bandwidth through the existing service provider or a new one.
WCB Releases Results From Supply Chain Security Information Collection
FCC releases a list of Eligible Telecommunications Carriers that have reported the presence or use of Huawei or ZTE equipment and/or services in their networks, or in the networks of their affiliates or subsidiaries.
Clarification that E-Rate eligible entities may share self-provisioned networks supported by the E-Rate program with ineligible entities so long as the ineligible entities pay their fair share of the undiscounted costs associated with constructing and/or operating the network and that E-Rate eligible entities that elect to share their self-provisioned network with an ineligible entity bear the burden of demonstrating that the cost allocation method used to determine the ineligible entity’s fair share is reasonable.
FCC makes permanent the Category 2 Budget approach, with modifications to administer budgets at the applicant billed entity level (not per building); establishing a set five year cycle that will begin next for FY 2021-FY 2025; sets budget multipliers and floors for entire 5 year period; modifies schools' ability to count part-time students in budget calculations.
WCB directs USAC to extend deadlines for E-rate applicants affected by application and invoicing system errors arising from EPC assigning incorrect service implementation deadline for special construction.
Wireline Competition Bureau Category 2 Budgets Report
Assessment of first pilot period of Category 2 funding caps prepared by Wireline Competition Bureau. Pilot program is a success and resulted in more applicants receiving more C2 funding than in prior years.
Comments invited on petitions filed by Boulder Valley SD and Microsoft to offer off campus Internet access at no extra cost and to alleviate the cost allocation requirement for off campus Internet usage.
Extends C2 Budgets for 5 years; dark fiber and self provisioned networks including equipment to make broadband functional fully eligible if the most cost effective solution; waiver of amortization of special construction
Staff report to help stakeholders and the public navigate the large and data-intensive record and respond to the FNPRM on modernization and summarize the changes the Commission adopted to E-rate funding of category two services.
Clarification that the Commission’s competitive bidding rules prohibit applicants from including a particular manufacturer’s name, brand, product or service in an FCC Form 470 or RFPs unless they also use the words “or equivalent” in such a description.
Rules that applicants may use a multi-tiered vendor selection process when evaluating bids, but ultimately, price must be the primary factor in selecting a qualified vendor. Specifically, applicants may use the first tier of a multi-tiered evaluation process to assess whether a proposal satisfies minimum technical capabilities, such as the scope of or quality of service, to ensure that the proposal is responsive to the RFP. This tier may be evaluated on a pass-fail basis or it may be scored numerically, where a minimum score is required to advance to the next phase of the evaluation process. Applicants may use the second tier of the evaluation process to examine price and other criteria. Consistent with state and local procurement requirements, any applicant using a multi-tiered process would provide notice - in either its FCC Form 470 or its RFP - to all potential bidders as to the specific criteria to be evaluated in each tier, how those criteria will be scored, which criteria will be used as disqualification criteria, and the circumstances under which bidders will be disqualified from further consideration. Price must be weighted the highest among each of the evaluation criteria in a multi-tiered vendor selection process, consistent with the Commission's rules.
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Report and Order
Allows dark fiber to be partially eligible; indexes E-rate funding to annual inflation adjustment; pilot for off campus Internet access; eliminates technology plan; clarifies disposal of obsolete equipment; clarifies competitive bidding requirements; adopts gift rule restrictions for E-rate participants.
Grants appeals of SLD decisions denying funding due to certain clerical or ministerial errors in the application, i.e., a failure to timely file an FCC Form 471, a failure to timely file a certification related to an FCC Form 470, or a failure to comply with minimum processing standards.
Directs USAC to provide all future and pending applicants with a 15-day opportunity to cure any ministerial or clerical errors on their FCC Form 470, FCC Form 471, or associated certifications and to develop targeted outreach procedures designed to better inform applicants of application procedures.
Extends the filing window for Funding Year 2006 (FY2006) until September 30, 2006, and waives the two-in-five rule for FY2006 for schools and libraries in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that were directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, Fifth Report and Order
Sets framework regarding what amounts should be recovered by USAC and the Commission when funds have been disbursed in violation of specific statutory provisions and FCC rules.
Announces policy regarding the timeframe in which USAC and the FCC will conduct audits or other investigations relating to use of E-rate funds.
Eliminates the current option to offset amounts disbursed in violation of the statute or a rule against other funding commitments.
Extends red light rule previously adopted pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) to bar beneficiaries or service providers from receiving additional benefits under the schools and libraries program if they have failed to satisfy any outstanding obligation to repay monies into the fund.
Adopts a strengthened document retention requirement to enhance ability to conduct all necessary oversight and provide a stronger enforcement tool for detecting statutory and rule violations.
Modifies current requirements regarding the timing, content and approval of technology plans.
Amends beneficiary certification requirements.
Directs USAC to submit a plan for timely audit resolution, and delegates authority to WCB Chief to resolve audit findings.
Directs USAC to submit on an annual basis a list of all USAC administrative procedures to WCB for review.
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, Order on Reconsideration and Fourth Report and Order
Denial of funding upheld where applicants chose the a provider without seeking bids on any of the prices of the specific E-rate funded services sought. Most of the applicants also submitted FCC Forms 470 expressing interest in purchasing a catalogue of services.
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, Third Report and Order and Second Further NPRM
Educational Purpose defined as activities that are integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students, or in the case of libraries, integral, immediate, and proximate to the provision of library services to library patrons, qualify as educational purposes under this program. Presumption that activities that occur in a library or classroom or on library or school property are integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students or the provision of library services to library patrons.
Duplicative service are prohibited from being funded and are defined as services that provide the same functionality for the same population in the same location during the same period of time.
30% Policy is codified: If 30 percent or more of the request seeks discounts for ineligible services, the Administrator will deny the funding request in its entirety.
Adopt a rule requiring service providers to give applicants the choice each funding year either to pay the discounted price or to pay the full price and then receive reimbursement through the BEAR process.
Time for filing appeal is expanded from 30 to 60 days.
Applicants who may have already signed a contract without first having posted a Form 470 may then later post a Form 470 and consider the existing contract as one of the bid responses. If the bid evaluation results conclude that the existing contract is the most cost effective option, the applicant is not required to sign a new contract but should memorialize their decision to continue the service and enter the date of this memorialization as the contract award date on their Form 471 application.
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, First Report and Order
Unused funds will be used to stabilize or reduce universal service contributions for the third and fourth quarters of 2002, and first quarter 2003. Thereafter, any unused funds shall be carried forward to increase disbursements to schools and libraries in subsequent years.
Allows members of rural remote communities in Alaska, where there is no local or toll-free dial-up Internet access, to use excess service for the community during non-school hours subject to certain conditions.
Affected applicants that were innocently affected by wrongdoing committed by a service provider were permitted to re-file their 470 and 471 applications for the requested services with the applicable deadlines being waived.
Gives additional time to implement contracts or agreements with service providers for non-recurring services; extends the deadline for receipt of non-recurring services from June 30, to September 30 following the close of the funding year.
SLD should grant service change requests for a substitute service or product where (1) that service or product has the same functionality; (2) the substitution does not result in an increase in price; (3) the substitution does not violate any contract provisions or state or local procurement laws; and (4) the substitution does not result in an increase in the percentage of ineligible services or functions; requires the applicant's request for a service change to include a certification that the requested change in service is consistent with the controlling Form 470 and Request For Proposal (RFP) for the original services.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Order on Remand
Concludes that having a service provider employee listed as the contact person on the FCC Form 470 that initiated a competitive bidding process in which that provider participated makes the Form 470 defective and violates competitive bidding requirements
Year 1 Extension Order of September 30, 1999 Deadline for Installation of Non-recurring Services
180 day extension of the 9/30/1999 service delivery deadline for non-recurring service was provided under four circumstances: (1) applicants whose Year One funding requests were granted late in the funding year, or after the funding year had ended, pursuant to a favorable decision on a request for review; (2) applicants for whom valid Year One service provider changes were approved by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC or the Administrator) late in the funding year, or after the funding year had ended; and (3) applicants for whom disbursements of Year One discounts were temporarily delayed.
Clarifies that schools and libraries that have signed contracts based on service requests that have been posted on the School and Library Division (SLD) website may exercise renewal terms in the original contract without any further posting; also, schools and libraries that are considering renewal provisions of contracts that were not based on service requests previously posted on the SLD website must submit service requests for posting before renewing those existing contracts.
FCC does not require that schools and libraries undertake a fresh new bidding process if they find renewal of the existing contracts to be in their best interests after considering the results of that posting.
Establishes the principle of end-to-end leased Internet service and on-premise Priority 1 equipment. Clarifies that applicants should have the flexibility to select different levels of service, to the extent such flexibility is consistent with that school's technology plan and ability to pay for such services, but, when selecting among comparable services, a school should be guided by price in its selection. Even among bids for comparable services, however, this does not mean that the lowest bid must be selected. Price, however, should be carefully considered at this point to ensure that any considerations between price and technical excellence (or other factors) are reasonable.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Twelfth Order on Reconsideration
Allows non-recurring FRNs to be installed by 9/30 following the end of the funding year. Any contract that expired prior to 6/30/1999 could be extended to that date and would be eligible to receive E-rate discounts.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Eighth Order on Reconsideration
Although the Commission disagreed with the general assertion that LCP should not reflect expired tariffs, the Commission did not expressly preempt state laws governing what rates may lawfully be offered to eligible schools and libraries. In the absence of such an expressly stated intention to preempt, we conclude that the Commission did not intend to require carriers to base the lowest corresponding rate on rates that may not lawfully be offered under state law. Thus, we interpret the Fourth Reconsideration as requiring only that rates that may be offered consistent with state law must be made available as the lowest corresponding price.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Fourth Report and Order
Changed the E-rate funding cycle to July 1 through June 30; first year will be 18 months from 1/1/98 through 6/30/99; all contracts with expiration date of 12/31/98 may be extended voluntarily to 6/30/99; quarterly collection of $325 million for E-rate for third and fourth quarter 1998 and first and second quarters of 1999; and any unused funds will not be carried forward into future funding years; established rules of priority of funding when funding requests exceed demand.
Federal-State Joint Board of Universal Service, Fourth Order on Reconsideration
Special pricing is not considered and required to be matched; affirms technology plan requirement as not unduly burdensome.
Eliminates requirement that RFPs must be posted on SLD web site.
State networks can apply on behalf of applicant school and libraries as a consortia; or they can serve as a vendor and receive reimbursements for providing internal connections and Internet but not telecommunications services.
Internal connections are limited to instructional buildings.
A contract of any duration signed on or before July 10, 1997 will be considered an existing contract and exempt from the competitive bid requirement for the life of the contract.
Adopts cardinal change doctrine for minor contract modifications that are exempt from competitive bidding requirement.
Confirms that master contracts negotiated by a third party may be used for E-rate purchases; either the third party entering into the master contract must have complied with the E-rate competitive bidding rules before signing the master contract or the eligible entity must comply with the E-rate competitive bidding requirement in order to use the master contract.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Third Order on Reconsideration
Adopts a filing window period that begins on the date that the Schools and Libraries Corporation begins to receive applications for support; SLC will determine the length of the window and administer rules of priority.
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report and Order & Second Order on Reconsideration