The Federal Communications Commission has extended its deadline for installing non-recurring services supported by Year 2 E-rate funding when a school district argued that its vendor had been subject to manufacturing delays and a shortage of components.
On Dec. 27, 2000, the Common Carrier Bureau issued an order that enabled certain Year 2 applicants to extend the original installation deadline of Sept. 30, 2000, to Sept. 30, 2001. The order applied to, among others, applicants whose service providers were unable to deliver the services due to events beyond the service provider's control, such as labor walk-outs or natural disasters. At the time, the FCC said that to qualify for the waiver,the applicant must have submitted documentation to the SLD before Sept. 30, 2000, requesting the relief.
The Baldwin County Board of Education in Bay Minette, Alabama wrote the SLD on Oct. 6, 2000, requesting an extension of the deadline. On Nov. 8, 2000, it submitted documentation that its service provider was unable to make the required deliveries before Sept. 30, because of manufacturing delays.
The FCC noted that "although Baldwin did not meet the exact criteria outlined [in its extension order], we believe it would be consistent with the reasoning set forth in the order to extend the deadline for Baldwin." It added that its order had noted that "there may be situations beyond those described in which it may be consistent with the public interest to extend this deadline." It was unclear how generous the FCC would be in extending the deadline for other applicants who might have found themselves in similar circumstances. The decision is available at http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Orders/2001/da010747.doc.