The Federal Communications Commission published its proposed changes in the Year 4 funding priorities in the Federal Register on May 8, starting the clock on the period during which it will accept comments on proposals.
Comments must be filed with the FCC by May 23, and then reply comments by May 30.
The FCC has asked for comments on two options. One would leave the rules as they are now. The other, which it described as its preferred approach, would deny support for internal connections in Funding Year 4 to any applicant that received it in Funding Year 3. In the case of school districts or consortia that received internal connections support on a shared basis, funding would be denied to any entity that was listed as a member of the group that received the shared services in Year 3.
Meanwhile, the Schools and Libraries Division has reduced its projection of the demand for Year 4 funds by close to $600 million. The SLD said it had rejected $374 million worth of requests because of applicants' failure to file their on-paper certifications or descriptions of service on a timely basis. Another $219 million adjustment involved a data-entry error. The SLD now projects that applicants requested $5.175 billion in support. The FCC's proposals are in response to concerns about the amount of funding that will be available to support internal connections requests.