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New FCC Appeals Decisions May Clarify Some Issues

The Federal Communications Commission is continuing to work through its backlog of E-rate funding appeals, and on March 7 issued some more decisions that may clarify certain issues for some applicants:

  • In an appeal involving the Springfield, MA, Public Schools, the FCC said that the Schools and Libraries Division had incorrectly treated "on-site engineering support" as an ineligible service when it determined that more than 30 percent of a funding request for internal connections was ineligible for support. Also treated as ineligible services were "contingency fund, computer head-end equipment, shared head-end equipment and video head-end equipment." The FCC said that because the SLD did not indicate how it had determined that those services were ineligible, and that further information provided by the school district contradicted its original application, it remanded the application back to the SLD for further consideration. The decision text can be viewed at
  • In an appeal involving the Rockwood School District R 6 in Eureka, MO, the FCC determined that more than 30 percent of the applicant's request for cellular services was ineligible because it included services provided to "resource officers, the Crisis Team, computer center employees, grounds/maintenance workers and food service/warehouse workers." Although the district argued that the services would be used for educational purposes, such as safety instruction, the FCC said the details of the application belied that claim. The decision text can be viewed at

  • In an appeal involving the Caddo Parish School Board in Shreveport, LA, the FCC instructed the SLD to reconsider the school district's request for a Cisco 2514 remote access router in line with its earlier decision enabling requests for remote access routers to be approved under certain circumstances. However, the FCC did not permit the district to use its appeal to request a Cisco 2610 router instead, saying applicants could not amend their Form 471 applications after they had been submitted. It was unclear whether the router could, in fact, be approved under the SLD's service substitution procedures if the district's funding commitment is ultimately approved. The decision text can be viewed at

  • In an appeal involving Maine School Administrative District #49 in Fairfield, ME, the FCC asserted that the SLD had correctly determined that a "voice server" was an ineligible voice-mail server, rather than an eligible PC-based PBX, and thus related surge protector panels and installation labor were also ineligible. The FCC noted that the school district argued that the product's PBX functionality was eligible without acknowledging that the vendor-produced documentation it submitted "fully describes a host of ineligible services that the product can provide" and that were not excluded. The decision text can be viewed at

  • In an appeal involving the St. Landry Parish School District in Opelousas, LA, the FCC said the SLD had correctly rejected an application for internal connections support because it included a request for a "CD Tower installation and data cartridges," which represented more than 30 percent of the request. The contract had involved the Bellweather Technology Corp. d/b/a Computerland of Louisiana. In addition, the FCC rejected St. Landry's attempt to modify its request to remove the ineligible services. The decision text can be viewed at

  • In appeals involving six other applicants, the FCC told the SLD to reconsider their Form 471 applications, which had been rejected because they had failed to complete Item 22 on the application, which provides the number of the pertinent discount worksheet. These decisions pointed to a decision last week involving the Naperville, IL, school district. The Naperville, IL, decision text can be viewed at

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