FCC Reform Summary

As most of you have heard, the FCC released, to the public the full text of the E-rate Modernization Report and Order and, have since released to assist the many stakeholders following the FCC’s E-rate efforts, a summary of the Order to the FCC’s E-rate Modernization page (http://www.fcc.gov/e-rate-update). On our last call with the FCC, we learned they plan to update the page with additional documents and information and publish a Q&A document, so stay tuned.

This 6 page document summarizes the 176 pages (yikes) of the recently FCC approved (by a 3 to 2 vote) E-Modernization Order. See below for highlights of the major changes; however, procedures have not been written and many questions have been sent to the FCC asking for more details and clarification. I would encourage you to read the summary. It remains to be seen exactly how this all shakes out and impacts each district.

3 Goals--Affordable Access to Broadband--Maximize Cost Effectiveness of E-rate Spending--Process Faster, Simple, & Efficient

  • Voice services, including cellular service, will be phased out beginning in FY 2015 by reducing the applicant's shared discount by 20 percentage points each year.
  • Wireless data plans are eligible only in very limited situations where they are the most cost effective solution for wireless connectivity. The FCC really tightened up on this eligibility.
  • Web hosting, e-mail and paging services will no longer be eligible beginning in FY 2015.
  • The 90% discount band for the new Category 2 (Priority 2) requests will now be 85%.
  • C2 equipment eligibility is limited to internal broadband capability and Wi-Fi. 1 Billion target for C2 Services.
  • Schools seeking discounts on C2(wireless) purchases for 2015 or 2016 will be eligible to request discounts on purchases of up to $150(pre-discount) per student over 5 years. (Also a pre discount funding floor of $9200 for C2 over 5 years)
  • Basic Maintenance still available; but on only routers, switches, wireless access points, internal cabling, racks, wireless, controller systems, firewall services, UPS and software supporting each component used for broadband.
  • No building by building discount calculations. Now a district wide discount.
  • 2010 Census data will now be used to determine Rural/Urban classifications.
  • Commercially available 100+ mbps downstream/10 mbps upstream Internet packages costing less than $3600/year will no longer have to be competitively bid.
  • No longer any technology plan requirements for any goods or services.
  • Increasing Pricing Transparency by publishing pricing on USAC website.
  • Multi-year contracts will have a streamlined application processing.
  • Now ten year document retention requirement.
  • Requiring all electronic filing of applications.
  • Payments directly to districts instead of passing funds through vendors.

That's all for now--

Shirley Bauer, Ed.D.
Kristina Garrett BS
LeeAnna Dugue M.ED
E-Rate Services
Voice 605-348-3302 or
NEWESD 101 509-323-2787
FAX 605-348-4741