Application Trends: Low-Cost Internet Bidding Exemption
In the FCC’s Seventh Report and Order, the Commission established a new exemption to the E-rate program’s long-standing requirement that all services be bid via FCC Form 470. In cases where “commercially available” business-class broadband Internet services are available for $3,600 or less, applicants may purchase these services without filing an FCC Form 470 for the service. In Funding Year 2015, 220 applicants took advantage of the new exemption.
- In FY2015, 261 funding requests (FRNs) were filed by applicants who referenced the competitive bidding exemption for Internet access services.
- Of these funding requests, only 219 of the FRNs referenced a pre-discount annual cost of $3,600 or below.
- The average number of students served per FRN at instructional sites was 198.
- The median pre-discount amount per site was $2,807 per year.
- The median discount requested per site was $1,560 per year.