The USAC Schools and Libraries Committee held its quarterly meeting today in which they recommended reviewing and approving Priority Two requests with discount rates down to the 83 percent level for Funding Year 2007.This is lower than the current Priority Two discount threshold for Funding Year 2006, which is set at 86 percent.Priority Two requests include the “Internal Connections” and “Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections” service categories.
Before USAC can begin issuing funding commitments at its recommended Priority Two discount threshold, it must first receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission.USAC is currently authorized to issue Funding Year 2007 Priority Two funding commitments at the 90 percent discount rate.
USAC reported that $150 million in unused E-rate discounts from FY 2002, 2003 and 2004 should be available as rollover funds for FY 2008.The FCC ultimately provides guidance to USAC on when they can use these additional dollars.
The USAC Schools and Libraries Committed also approved 31 “compliance attestation” audits reviewing close to $8.5 million in E-rate funding.The audits found approximately $7,000 for possible recovery.USAC and the FCC will continue to spend additional resources auditing program beneficiaries.Funds For Learning has catalogued hundreds of FCC and USAC appeals in a searchable database.E-rate Manager subscribers can view the past audits in the “tools” section of E-rate Manager.
As the E-rate program evolves it remains critically important for E-rate stakeholders to stay in compliance with the ever-changing FCC E-rate rules and USAC guidance, Funds For Learning created a service called E-rate University in order to help E-rate stakeholders understand the process and have confidence in funding success while staying in compliance.