FCC Releases Six New Appeal Decisions
On March 12th, the FCC released 6 new appeal decisions regarding the E-rate program.
The FCC found the Review Request filed by Kress Independent School District was moot. Kress had also requested a SPIN change and service substitution from USAC, and the FCC found that USAC had already granted those requests.
In the California Youth Authority, et al. decision, the FCC granted requests by 4 applicants to extend the deadline for installation of non-recurring services. All 4 applicants had requested an extension based upon circumstances beyond the service providers control. All of the schools asked for an extension due to budget cuts or fiscal problems suffered by the applicant. USAC referred all 4 cases to the FCC for a determination on whether USAC had authority to grant extensions under these circumstances. The FCC found that the date the FCDL had been issued on had no bearing in this matter. USAC has the authority to determine what circumstances constitute a situation beyond the service provider's control.
In the Kentucky Department of Education decision, the FCC granted a waiver to all applicants in the state of Kentucky who use the state master contracts on their Form 471's. Under Kentucky state law, the state awarded master contracts are not signed and completed until after the filing deadline for the Form 471. The FCC decided Kentucky applicants may still refer to the state master contracts and will not have their applications denied for a signed, binding contract not being in place prior to the Form 471 deadline.
In the Academy for Academic Excellence, et al decision, the FCC granted waivers to 44 applicants. All the applicants were requesting waivers of the Form 471 filing deadline due to various reasons. The FCC remanded all the cases back to USAC for further processing consistent with the Bishop Perry Order.
In the Tri-River Educational Computer Association (TRECA) decision, TRECA appealed USAC's determination they failed to provide evidence of their authority to represent its consortia members. After TRECA had filed the Form 471, one of the consortia members pulled out of the consortia group. During PIA TRECA provided the LOA's for the participating consortia members and not the one non-participating applicant. USAC then denied the application for not providing all the LOAs. The FCC found that TRECA did have LOAs from a substantial number of the consortia members and remanded the application back to USAC for further processing. The Commission found this to be consistent with their decision in the Kan-ed Order, which stated a consortia application can be processed as long as the number of missing or deficient LOAs represents less that 30% of the consortia membership.
View the TRECA Appeal Decision
In the Otsego Local School District decision, the FCC denied the applicant's waiver request. Otsego had classified their district as "rural" and asked for discount rates based off that designation. USAC found the District should be classified as "urban" granted the application based off the "urban" designation. The FCC determined USAC correctly applied the two step process to determine if an applicant is in a rural or urban area.