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FCC Says It Is Moving on Funding Delays

The Federal Communications Commission October 6 said it was taking several steps to alleviate a "temporary cashflow problem" that has held up new funding commitments in the E-rate program since early August.

On Monday, the FCC said it had directed the Universal Service Administrative Company to liquidate $210 million worth of investments that were made using cash balances. The FCC said it was also "exploring a variety of options with USAC to ease the temporary cashflow problems" as the new accounting standards are implemented.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell sent the program's congressional sponsors a letter on October 5, the day of a critical Senate hearing, detailing to the program's sponsors why the agency had asked USAC to adopt the government accounting standards and what the FCC was doing to ease the transition.

At an October 6 FCC forum that highlighted how schools were using technology effectively, FCC commissioners expressed their support for the program and their concern that the funding delays be resolved quickly.

The FCC statement said that more than $2 billion in support that has already been approved will be paid without delay as the program's payment paperwork continues to be processed. Since August 4, more than $260 million in disbursements have been made, a Funds For Learning analysis found.

Click here for a copy of the Powell letter.

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