The FCC has debarred two more service providers from participating in the E-rate programs. In separate decisions, the FCC debarred both Premio, Inc. and NextiraOne LLC.
In the order regarding Premio, Inc., the FCC debarred the computer and software service provider for one year. Premio has pled guilty to two felony counts arising out of its E-rate activity, which defrauded the E-rate program over $1 million. Premio pointed out that they have not been involved in the E-rate program since 2001 and the employee involved in the fraudulent activity had been fired. Even though Premio cannot have any involvement in the E-rate program, the FCC did grant Premio’s request to further clarify the scope of the debarment. The FCC stated that Premio is not “prohibited from selling equipment and services to schools and libraries, or to other third party vendors, that participate in the E-Rate program, so long as payment for such equipment and service does not come from E-Rate funds.” The FCC debarment only applies to the E-rate program and does not affect “Premio’s ability to sell products and services to schools, libraries, or other vendors outside of the E-Rate program.”
The FCC also debarred NextraOne for one year from all E-rate activity. NextraOne pled guilty to felony counts arising out of E-rate activity in South Dakota, which defrauded the E-rate program out of more than $1 million. NextraOne did ask for clarification of the debarment as it would apply against its sister company, NextiraOne Federal, LLC (“NXOF”). The FCC stated that as the debarment rule is written, NXOF would be affected since the debarment would be applied against all divisions and/or other organizational elements. However, NextraOne and NXOF were able to show the FCC that the two companies work independently of each other, have separate management, and deal with each other at arms length. The FCC has granted a clarification that the NextraOne debarment will NOT affect NXOF.
The full text of the FCC orders can be viewed at: