Stakeholders in the new universal service support fund submitted recommendations to the FCC on July 31 on the design of E-rate application forms and alternative reviews of technology plans. The group also offered its advice on several other aspects of the E-rate application process.
The so-called E-rate Implementation Working Group, made up of representatives of the U.S. Education Department, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Rural Utilities Service and the Education and Library Networks Coalition, met throughout June and July and solicited the views of state public utility commissioners, educators, librarians, technology experts and other interested parties—those people who will actually be a part of the E-rate process.
In general, the group recommended changes that would enable the E-rate program to become operational as quickly as possible, with refinements to come following a six-month interim period. The full text of their recommendations is available at http://www.ed.gov/Technology/eraterpt.html (this Web site is case sensitive).