This afternoon, Funds For Learning submitted our comments regarding the FY2021 draft Eligible Services List to the FCC. Our suggestions to the Commission have been informed by conversations with E-rate stakeholders of all stripes – applicants, service providers, consultants, and other program participants. We think that the FCC can make significant improvements to the program by refining the ESL in the following ways:
  • Clarifying that network security services qualify for E-rate discounts
  • Clarifying that E-rate discounted networks do not need cost-allocation based on what type(s) of network devices are connected to them
  • Eliminating needless funding denials due to confusion surrounding the Category Two “subcategories” of Internal Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections, and Managed Internal Broadband Services.
You can read our full comments here, and we hope you will take the time to do so.
 
Providing the FCC with feedback about the real-world needs of all E-rate stakeholders is vital to the continued success of the program.  Submitting comments on Orders like the draft Eligible Services List is one of the precious few opportunities you have to do exactly that.  And while not everyone gets everything they ask for, we were recently reminded that the FCC does listen to, value, and implement suggestions from program beneficiaries.
 
Submitting comments is easy!  You can submit your own ideas, or you can voice your support for suggestions made by others1. To submit a comment, just head over to the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. The E-rate proceedings are 02-6 and 13-184.
 
The FCC is listening – let them hear your voice!

 
1Remember that ECFS filings are public record with the Federal Communications Commission.  Be sure that you follow any of your organization’s policies regarding interacting with government agencies!