The Schools and Libraries Division posted an updated eligible services list Oct. 16 that provides further details about certain items that are conditionally eligible. The SLD said it would update the list again early in the Form 471 filing window, which is expected to open in November.
The revised list can be accessed at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/eligible.asp.
The items that have been modified since the last update in December 1999 are indicated in bold. In many cases, the list codifies positions that the SLD auditing staff has taken but that may not have been clear to applicants. Among the changes of note:
- Paging, cellular and Personal Communications Services (PCS) services are eligible when provided for use "at a place of instruction and for educational purposes." Such services are not eligible when provided for use by school bus drivers. There has been some confusion in the past over which school officials could qualify for support. As in the past, the pagers and cell phones themselves are not eligible for support.
- Antennas as part of a wireless Local Area Network are eligible for support. Antennas used for Wireless Wide Area Networks are eligible only if leased as used as part of "cost-effective access to the Internet." Antennas used for the transmission of voice and data over Wireless WANs are only eligible if leased from an eligible telecommunications service provider.
- One switchboard, or console, connected to an eligible PBX can qualify for support. A PC Attendant Console can also qualify for support if connected to an eligible PBX or used in place of a PBX system.
- Hard Disk Array Control, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, enable data to be stored on another drive when a disk drive fails. These are eligible if used with an eligible component.
- Rack mounted power strips are considered eligible only if they are a bundled component part of an eligible service or product. Equipment racks are considered eligible if they house eligible equipment.
- Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS), UPS Interface Expanders, and Relay I/O Modules are considered eligible only if used with an eligible component.
- T-1s and DS-1 (Digital Signal 1) are eligible telecommunications services and can also be leased as eligible Internet access through an Internet Service Provider. Their purchase is not eligible.
- Satellite access to the Internet is eligible if it is part of a bundled or unbundled Internet service offering and does not include the purchase of the satellite dish, or modem. When provided as a component of a Wide Area Network, and used exclusively for accessing the Internet, the satellite dish and modem are eligible, but only if leased from the Internet Service Provider.
- Copper backbone cabling is eligible for voice and data uses but not video.
The new list also incorporates the SLD's new position on remote access routers and servers, which require certification to the SLD that steps have been taken to ensure that only eligible entities will be able to access the equipment. Access from homes or other non-school facilities is not eligible for support.