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FCC Grants Appeals for Three North Carolina School Districts

In decisions this week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted appeals for three North Carolina E-rate applicants. The appeals are in line with other recent favorable decisions by the FCC.

The Richmond County School District (RCSD) was granted appeals related to three contracts listed on the Form 471 for Funding Year 2005. One contract was sent to USAC without signatures, but during the PIA Review RCSD was able to provide a contract that was signed and dated before the Form 471 was filed. Another contract was signed by both parties but was not dated. Based on the facts presented the FCC ruled that the two contracts complied with program rules in that they constituted a "legally binding agreement" with the service provider "for all services" ordered. The third decision for RCSD centered on an existing contract which was extended one day after the Form 471 was certified. The FCC waived the rules stating that RCSD "had a legally binding contract in place during Funding Year 2005 and before the vendor began providing services." The Richmond County School District appeal can be viewed at Richmond County School District FCC Appeal.pdf

The Anson County School District (ACSD) was denied nine Form 471 requests in 2005 because USAC ruled that ACSD did not budget the funds necessary to pay its portion of the discounted services it was seeking. When submitting the funding requests ACSD believed they would have necessary resources for all nine requests. During the review process ACSD cancelled four of the requests in order to have the funds necessary to pay their portion of the non-discounted budget and USAC subsequently denied all of their requests. In its decision the FCC stated that when events arise that render an applicant unable to pay for its requests the "SLD should provide the applicant with the opportunity to select a subset of its funding requests that its current funds can cover." The Anson County School District appeal can be viewed at Anson County School District FCC Appeal.pdf

The Hickory City School District (HCSD) was granted an appeal regarding Funding Year 2004 requests for services totaling approximately $900,000. The funding was initially denied because HCSD failed to respond to the USAC selective review request for data by the designated deadline. The lack of response was explained by HCSD stating that it relied on procedures followed in a previous selective review where the requested data was not available until the close of the fiscal year. In the appeal the FCC determined that HCSD "should be given another opportunity to demonstrate that it had sufficient resources available to effectively use its eligible services as required by Commission rules." The Hickory City School District appeal can be viewed at Hickory City School District FCC Appeal.pdf

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