On September 28, the FCC released the Sixth Report and Order outlining some substantial changes to the E-rate program. Funds For Learning will be releasing further analysis of these changes and their impact on the program. The first analysis is on expanding eligible usage of e-rate funded services.

On September 28, the FCC released the Sixth Report and Order outlining some substantial changes to the E-rate program. Funds For Learning will be releasing further analysis of these changes and their impact on the program. The first analysis is on expanding eligible usage of e-rate funded services.

Community Use

In February 2010, the FCC waived the rule stating that services requested will be used solely for educational purposes, through June 30, 2011. This allows schools to open their facilities to the general public to utilize E-rate supported services and facilities, while classes are not in session.

The 6th Report and Order makes this decision permanent. The rule now states the services will be used primarily for educational purposes. Certain conditions apply:

  1. Schools may not request funding for more services than are necessary to serve the student population.
  2. The public can only access services when school is not in session, after school hours, weekends, holidays and summer break. Schools will determine whether community access is allowed. A new box on the Form 471 will appear for entities to indicate they took advantage of the rule change.
  3. Schools may not charge for use of services subject to a universal service discount. Fees may be assessed for additional electricity, security, heating, or equipment not covered by E-rate.

Residential Use

The E-rate Broadband NPRM proposed to allow residential schools that serve populations facing unique challenges to receive E-rate funding for priority one and priority two services in those residential areas. As adopted, the proposal allows E-rate funding for all supported services in the residential areas that serve these unique populations:

  • Schools on Tribal lands
  • Schools serving students with medical needs
  • Schools serving students with physical, cognitive or behavioral disabilities
  • Schools where 35% or more of students are eligible for the NSLP
  • Juvenile justice facilities
 

The commission declined to expand this proposal to any school that has residential facilities.

Your Source for the latest Broadband Order News

Funds For Learning is your leading source for news and analysis of the FCC Sixth Report and Order. Continue to check our FCC E-rate Broadband Order page for the latest updates and further analysis of the Orders and the implications on the E-rate program. If you have any questions about the Orders please call 405-341-4140 or email us at info@fundsforlearning.com.