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Category Archives: FCC

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Wireless, Wireline and Cable Providers Ask the FCC to Revise Portions of the December 2014 E-rate Modernization Order

Posted in FCC

Cable, wireless and wireline providers have all recently sought reconsideration of certain elements of the FCC’s Second E-rate Modernization Order.  Seeking a variety of changes to the recent order, from relatively minor clarifications to significant modifications, the filers collectively ask the FCC to go back to the drawing board and re-work significant portions of the… Continue Reading

Advisory Alert: New FCC Order Increases E-rate Program by $1.5 Billion Annually, and Introduces a Number of New Changes Including “Equalizing” Treatment of Lit and Dark Fiber

Posted in FCC

On December 19, the FCC released the text of its Second Report and Order in its E-rate modernization proceeding. The new Order increased the annual spending cap on the E-rate program by an additional $1.5 billion—taking the cap from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion per year starting in the 2015-2016 funding year. This increase was expected after… Continue Reading

E-Rate Modernization Order Approved by FCC

Posted in FCC

Today, by a 3-2 vote along party lines, the FCC approved an Order adopting further modernization of the E-Rate Program.  At this point, only a News Release has been issued.  Highlights of the Order include: increasing the annual spending cap on the E-Rate program from $2.4 to $3.9 Billion; suspending the requirement that applicants seek funding… Continue Reading

FCC to Address Perceived “Rural Fiber Gap” In Further E-rate Reforms Scheduled for Consideration at December Meeting

Posted in FCC

FCC Chairman Wheeler announced in a recent FCC blog post that the agency will be considering another E-Rate reform item during the agency’s next open meeting on December 11.  This latest proposal is expected to increase the annual E-rate spending cap by $1.5 billion and include several changes to the program intended to accelerate broadband… Continue Reading

FCC Releases the Eligible Services List for 2015-2016

Posted in FCC

The FCC has released an Order approving the Eligible Services List for funding year 2015-2016.  The list has been significantly revised both to implement the new changes announced in the FCC’s E-rate Modernization Order and to streamline the language on the list itself.  It has been significantly reduced in length, shrinking from 48 pages to just 8… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Signals Tougher Enforcement Regime for E-Rate Service Providers while Announcing New Initiative to Close the “Rural Gap”

Posted in FCC

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler gave a speech earlier this week stating that “the heart and soul of any further modernization [of the E-rate program]” must be to close what he called the “Rural Fiber Gap.”  He stated that “40% of schools in rural areas lack access to fiber networks” and that “of those that could… Continue Reading

DWT To Present Webinar on FCC E-rate Modernization Proceeding

Posted in FCC

The FCC’s recent E-rate modernization order is the first significant effort to reform the program since its inception in 1997, and was adopted amidst dissension among FCC commissioners and public controversy.  It also included a further notice of proposed rulemaking.  The public has been invited to provide comment on such issues as whether the FCC should… Continue Reading

FCC Staff Release Report Summarizing Data Received During E-rate Modernization Proceeding

Posted in FCC

On August 12, 2014, FCC staff released a Staff Report that both summarizes the new rules adopted in the recent E-rate modernization order and presents data gathered during prior stages as parties prepare to file comments on the further notice of proposed rulemaking (“FNPRM”) in that proceeding.  The FNPRM (found at section VIII of the… Continue Reading

Draft Eligible Services List for 2015-2016 is Released—Comments Due in Early September

Posted in FCC

The proposed E-rate Eligible Services List for funding year 2015-2016 has been released for public comment.  The proposed list is intended to implement the changes made in the FCC’s recently-released E-rate modernization order, but the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) has asked for comments on whether the proposed list accurately implements those changes.  Aside from… Continue Reading

Text of FCC E-rate Order is Released

Posted in FCC

Late yesterday, the FCC released the text of its first order in the E-rate modernization proceeding.  The new order includes a target of $1 billion per year over the next five years for Wi-Fi funding (although only funding for the next two years has been identified), many new administrative changes to the program (including a… Continue Reading

E-rate Reform Order Approved with Additional Funding for Wi-Fi

Posted in FCC

This morning, the FCC voted on its long-awaited Order reforming the E-rate program.  While the text of the Order has not yet been released, descriptions of its contents shared during the meeting and in a press release provide the overarching themes and some details. Under the Order, the E-rate program’s current structure, which is divided… Continue Reading

FCC E-Rate Divisions Exposed as Vote on Order Looms

Posted in FCC

A divided Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote tomorrow, July 11, on an E-rate Reform Order proposed by Chairman Tom Wheeler.  The proposed order, which is focused primarily on enabling schools and libraries to use E-rate funding for Wi-Fi services, has become the subject of much controversy and, this week, of bitter division between… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Circulates Draft E-rate Order

Posted in FCC

Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in a new fact sheet that he has circulated a draft of the much-anticipated E-rate order to his fellow Commissioners for their review.  It is expected that the FCC will vote on the Order, presumably with some changes, at its July 11 open meeting. As shown in the fact… Continue Reading

FCC Decision Confirms Cost “Primary Factor” Rule and Underscores Recent Emphasis on Cost Rules

Posted in FCC, USAC

Last week, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order denying a request for waiver and review of an E-rate program decision made by USAC, which determined that a Texas school district violated the FCC’s competitive bidding rules by failing to use price as the primary factor in its vendor selection process. FCC rules require… Continue Reading

Chairman Wheeler Urges Prioritizing E-Rate Funding for Wi-Fi by Next Year

Posted in FCC

FCC Chairman Wheeler posted a blog entry today on the agency’s website emphasizing the need to change its E-rate rules before the next e-rate funding year in order to encourage the deployment of Wi-Fi to the nation’s schools and libraries.  Currently, E-rate rules relegate funding for Wi-Fi to the “Priority 2” internal connections category, which pays for… Continue Reading

FCC Rescinds 2010 Cost Allocation Guidance for Bundled Services

Posted in FCC

Late last Friday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released an Order rescinding prior guidance that permitted E-rate applicants to request full funding for  certain bundles that included service or equipment components that are not eligible for E-rate funding.  The prior guidance, issued in 2010, had departed from past FCC decisions that required service providers and… Continue Reading

FCC E-Rate Modernization Workshop Emphasizes Educator Needs

Posted in FCC

In another milestone in its initiative to expand and modernize the E-Rate program within the next few months, on May 6 the FCC convened a day-long E-Rate Modernization Workshop at its Washington, D.C. headquarters.  The workshop included remarks by all five FCC commissioners and roundtable discussions featuring state and local K-12 school and library officials… Continue Reading

E-Rate Funding Demand Continues to Surge in Excess of Cap; Denial of all 2014-15 Priority 2 Funding Requests Expected

Posted in FCC

Last week, the FCC announced that it would effectively increase the E-rate cap for the 2014-2015 funding year to $2.6 billion by allowing $200 million left over from prior years to be spent in the upcoming funding year.  The FCC indicated that it expected these funds to be sufficient for USAC to fund all committed… Continue Reading

Agenda Announced for FCC E-Rate Workshop

Posted in FCC

Yesterday, the FCC announced the agenda for its E-Rate Workshop to be held on May 6.  The workshop, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM and conclude at 3:00 PM, will be held in the Commission meeting room and will be attended by all FCC commissioners.  The workshop is open to the public (subject to… Continue Reading