The Federal Communications Commission granted the Savannah R-III School District’s appeal involving issues pertaining to the eligibility of “on-premise priority one equipment”. Savannah answered some of the SLD's Program Integrity Assurance questions inaccurately resulting in a rejection of a funding request, while documentation submitted accurately described the matter.
During the application review process, Savannah was asked a series of questions about their service and mistakenly responded to PIA that the ownership of the equipment would transfer to the school district after a certain time and that the lease did include that option. The SLD then changed the category to internal connections and denied them funding because they did not list this service in the internal connections category on the Form 470 and that they violated the SLD’s competitive bidding rules. The FCC further issued a commitment adjustment (COMAD) for previous years funding projects that were tied to same Form 470 procurement.
The FCC acknowledged that Savannah did not respond appropriately, but did provide USAC with the service agreements that would indicate that the school should have been funded for this service. The FCC is remanding this case back to the SLD for processing within 60 days.
About the Eligiblity of On-premise Equipment
In the Tennessee Order, the FCC confirmed that components located at the applicant’s site were presumed to be internal connections, but also outlined the criteria in which that presumption could be overcome.
- The on-premise equipment will be provided by the same service provider that provides the eligible telecommunications or internet access service of which it is a part
- Responsibility for maintaining the equipment rests with the service provider and not the school or library
- Ownership of the equipment will not be transferred to the school or library in the future, and the relevant contract or lease does not include an option to purchase the equipment by the school or library
- Upfront capital charges of the on-premise equipment are less than 67% of the total charges (recurring plus non-recurring) in the funding year
- The equipment will not be used by the school or library for any purpose other than receipt of the eligible telecommunications or internet access service of which it is a part
- The Local Area Network of the school or library is functional without the dependence of the equipment
- There is no contractual, technical, or other limitation that would prevent the service provider from using the network equipment, in part, for other customers
Funds For Learning's Database of FCC Appeals
Funds For Learning has a searchable FCC appeals database with hundreds of decisions which makes it easy for E-rate stakeholders to search past FCC precedents. This can assist applicants or service providers when they are crafting their own appeals. The FCC Decision Database is included as a part of the award-winning E-rate Manager web site — a web-based service designed to assist E-rate stakeholders manage and track E-rate applications.
The Savannah School District FCC appeal decision can be viewed here .