New E-rate Window Guidance Next Week
This week, the FCC announced a special filing window for schools impacted by COVID-19. It is a welcome bit of good news during a challenging season. The window will open next week, and there will be special instructions to submit funding applications released by USAC. Here are a few key points about the COVID-19 filing window:
- Existing school sites. The additional support is limited to schools that are already covered by an E-rate application and need more bandwidth because of COVID-19. No new sites will qualify for support.
- Open next week. You should not apply in EPC until the special window opens, which is likely to happen on Wednesday, September 23. USAC will announce the official date and time next week.
- Price per megabit same or better. When requesting support for additional bandwidth, USAC will only fund requests up to the price per megabit originally requested.
- No new Form 470. USAC will not require a new Form 470, but applicants will still need to follow their state and local competitive bidding rules, procurement procedures, and/or contract terms.
- No Category 2 or “Digital Divide” support. There is no additional support for Category 2 goods and services, or any off-campus support for remote learning activities. However, support may be available for Category 1-eligible network electronics involved in the transmission of Internet access.
- Changes only through June 30, 2021. Any services that will continue July 1, 2021, or later, will be subject to the normal competitive bidding requirements (e.g. Form 470).
Please join Funds For Learning for a webinar on September 23, 2020, to review the requirements and procedures for this bonus application period. The webinar is free and open to everyone!