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FCC Modifies E-rate Appeal Procedures

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted new rules on how it will accept appeals of decisions by the Schools and Libraries Division because of problems associated with mail delivery and the processing of deliveries.

In an order released December 26, 2001, the FCC said that until further notice, parties would have 60 days from the date an SLD decision was issued to appeal it to the commission. The new deadline will take effect when the rule is formally published in the Federal Register, presumably within a matter of days. The Commission said the rule would apply to pleadings that were required to be submitted on or after September 12, 2001. (Because the FCC was forced to close on September 11, 2001, the deadline for documents that were due that date was automatically extended until the next business day.)

The FCC also said it would begin accepting appeals electronically through e-mail, and by fax transmission.

The interim procedures apply to all requests for review of SLD decisions to the FCC except for so-called petitions for reconsideration, which must, by law, be filed within 30 days.

The Commission said that if a filing was due on or after September 12 and it had already been submitted by non-electronic means, it could be re-filed by electronic means within 30 days of when the order is published.

The FCC said such a filing should be accompanied by a signed affidavit or declaration, stating that the previously filed pleading was filed on a timely basis, and providing the date that the pleading was originally mailed and by what means.

Details of the new filing options are provided in the revised procedural rules at

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