[NHDOE-ETNews] ET News: E-Rate News Updates

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Tue May 6 11:09:14 EDT 2014


Today on the ETNews Listserv
ITEM:  E-Rate News Updates

Funding Status

On Friday, the FCC announced that it was rolling over $200 million of available funds from previous years into FY 2014.  The extra funding is needed to meet the full demand for Priority 1 requests -- a necessary condition for USAC to begin funding waves for FY 2014.  PIA review of FY 2014 applications is already in full swing, and we expect Wave 1 to be issued later this month.

The most significant aspects of the FCC's roll-over announcement include:

1.      It is based on USAC's second quarter projection of unused funds.  In prior years, the FCC has usually waited until the third quarter's accumulation of funds.
2.      It rolled over only $200 million of the $600 million available as of that quarter.

Unless the FCC decides to roll over additional funds into FY 2014 later in the year -- an action that we view as unlikely -- this announcement is a tacit acknowledgment that there will be no Priority 2 funding for FY 2014. Instead, it appears to be part of an FCC effort to reserve as much extra funding as possible for FY 2015 and FY 2016 under the new E-rate 2.0 rules.

For FY 2013 USAC will release Wave 50 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on May 7. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of May 5, FY2013 commitments total over $2.05 billion.

For FY 2012 USAC will release Wave 84 FCDLs on May 6. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of May 5, FY2012 commitments total over $2.86 billion.

E-Rate Modernization Workshop Agenda

Last week the FCC announced the agenda<http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0429/DA-14-563A1.pdf> for its May 6th E-rate Modernization Workshop. The Workshop will focus on the goal of connecting all schools and libraries to high-capacity broadband networks, and effective strategies and lessons learned in achieving the goal.

All five FCC Commissioners are listed as participants as well as a representative from the Department of Education.  After opening remarks there will be a panel discussion on broadband-enabled opportunities for schools and libraries. Panelists include education and library leaders, who will focus their comments on the benefits of connecting schools and libraries to high-capacity broadband, providing real-world examples of how broadband access is changing the nature of services provided within schools and libraries.

A moderated roundtable discussion will cover several topics related to ensuring that schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st Century broadband. The thirteen confirmed participants include leaders representing a diverse group of libraries, schools, districts and national organizations. The morning session will conclude with participants discussing the upgrade of local area networks to provide Wi-Fi capable of handling 1:1 initiatives, increases in Wi-Fi demand, strategies for ensuring cost-effective purchasing, and planning for the wireless schools and libraries of the future.

In the afternoon participants will discuss different approaches to providing affordable access to 21st Century broadband, including improving Internet access and wide area network connectivity for school districts and library systems, state research and education networks, regional and state
consortium purchasing, and state master contracts.

The FCC will attempt to accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will
be limited to seating availability. The Commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the meeting over the Internet from the FCC’s Web page<http://www.fcc.gov/live>.

E-Rate Updates and Reminders

E-Rate Modernization Data:

As part of the E-rate modernization, a.k.a. “E-rate 2.0,” the FCC has stressed the importance of having a significant body of data that documents telecommunications and technology use and its related costs. As part of that effort the FCC website’s “Encyclopedia”<http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/e-rate-modernization-data> page notes a number of documents from state, urban, rural, public and private schools and libraries that include metrics and costs for telecommunications services and networking equipment.

Schools and Libraries News Brief Dated May 2 – Form 471 Certification Deadline

The SLD News Brief for May 2, 2014<http://www.e-ratecentral.com/files/sld-news-briefs/544.pdf> discusses the urgency and importance of certifying the Form 471, if that has not been done already, and submitting the Item 21 attachments. USAC will issue two sets of letters this week – one to applicants that filed an FCC Form 471 online before the close of the filing window, but did not complete the certification process, and the other to remind applicants to submit their Item 21 attachments. Both sets of letters will be issued on Tuesday, May 6. Applicants must take action on or before Tuesday, May 27, or risk that their application(s) will be considered out-of-window.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Newsletter information and disclaimer: This newsletter may contain unofficial information on prospective E-rate developments and/or may reflect E-Rate Central’s own interpretations of E‑rate practices and regulations.  Such information is provided for planning and guidance purposes only.  It is not meant, in any way, to supplant official announcements and instructions provided by the SLD, FCC, or state education departments.


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Stan Freeda
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