In their January 16, 2009 News Brief, USAC published detailed eligibility requirements for Priority 1 Voice Over IP (VoIP) services. Although the eligibility of VoIP services has not changed since the 2008 Eligible Services List, Funds For Learning has observed a substantial amount of confusion among E-rate stakeholders as to what types of “managed VoIP services” qualify for Priority 1 funding.
The full text of the News Brief may be found at http://www.universalservice.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=207 . Among the clarifications made in the News Brief:
- VoIP services may be filed in the Telecommunications Services or Internet Access category, but they must be provided by a eligible telecommunications provider (a “common carrier.”)
- Leased call processing hardware (VoIP servers, IP PBX devices, etc) is only eligible for Priority 2 – Internal Connections funding.
- A leased on-premise router or voice gateway may qualify for Priority 1 discounts if all Tennessee Order requirements are met.
- Telephone handsets are not eligible for E-rate discounts in any service category.