The Federal Communications Commission issued the draft eligible services list on August 16 and is only giving E-rate stakeholders until August 25 to comment. The FCC is committed to adopting the final eligible services list at least 60 days before the start of the Form 471 filing window. Last year the FCC sought comment at this time and adopted the final list on October 14th which meant the Form 471 window did not open until December 14. The FCC clarified that comments should be "…limited to determining what services are eligible under the Commission's current rules; it is not intended to be a vehicle for changing any eligibility rules…"
One substantive change, however, is that the FCC is proposing that Virtual Private Network Components should be eligible to receive E-rate support. Specifically, the proposed eligible services list states "Virtual Private Network components are eligible for discount if they provide basic and reasonable security protections to prevent unauthorized access to the information, software, and systems of an applicant's eligible components."
Comment Date: August 25, 2005
Reply Comment Date: September 1, 2005
The Eligible Services List can be reviewed at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-158A1.doc