The FCC released two appeals today in which they granted a waiver of the FCC regulations. This continues the string of applicant friendly decisions that have been recently released by the FCC.
South Carolina Division of the Chief Information Officer The South Carolina Division of the Chief Information Officer in conjunction with the South Carolina State Department of Education created the State Telecommunications Network and the State gave the SC CIO the authority to file for the E-rate on behalf of the schools and libraries in the state.
The SC CIO was asked during the application review stage for their letter of agencies and because of a misunderstanding of what the SLD was specifically looking for they were denied funding because "Consortium leader has failed to provide evidence of authority to file Forms 471 on behalf of, or evidence of the membership of, a substantial number of the members included in this consortium"
The FCC contends that had the SLD told the SC CIO that it was trying to determine their statutory authority to filing for E-rate that the SC CIO would have done so. There was also a policy change in respect to LOA's that the SLD posted mid-year which would have made it impossible for many consortiums to comply.
The FCC further found that no waste, fraud or abuse had occurred and it would service the public interest to grant their appeal.
South Carolina Division of the Chief Information Officer Appeal can be viewed at State of SC FCC E-rate Appeal.pdf
Cincinnati City School District
In Funding Year 2003 the Cincinnati City School District (CCSD) signed a purchase order with Blackwell consulting for networking purposes and then filed their Form 471. Six months later after the Form 471 window closed they signed a contract with Blackwell Consulting. On January 5, 2005 CCSD received a COMAD letter from the SLD because they determined that they did not have a legally binding contract at the time of the Form 471 filing.
The FCC granted CCSD's appeal that they had a legally binding contract on the basis that "…the record demonstrates that while Cincinnati School technically missed the program deadline for having a written contract in place at the time it submitted its FCC Form 471, Cincinnati School had a legally binding agreement in place during Funding Year 2003 and before the vendor, BCS, began providing services. Cincinnati School's FCC Form 471 was certified approximately one month after signing a valid Purchase Order and prior to BCS performing services. We find, therefore, that in this case the policy behind the rule was satisfied even if Cincinnati School did not technically meet the requirements of the rule…"
Cincinnati City School District appeal can be viewed at Cincinnati City School District FCC Appeal.pdf