On June 9, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission released the draft Eligible Services List for Funding Year 2011. The draft list includes numerous proposed changes, including the removal of several “infrequently requested” services. Other significant proposed changes include designating the following products and services as ineligible for E-rate discounts:
- Software applications for mobile devices, including GPS systems, and “data charges solely for the provision of those applications”
- Web hosting, domain name registration, and web servers
- Anti-virus and anti-spam software
- Firewalls priced separately from a vendor’s Internet Access service
- Unbundled warranties
The draft list also contains a proposal to add dark fiber as an eligible service, provided that the applicant provides terminating electronics to modulate (or “light”) the fiber. The Eligible Services List is released in draft form on a yearly basis, and is then finalized prior to the opening of the Form 471 filing window. E-rate stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments to the FCC in support of (or opposition to) the proposed changes. Comments to the draft FY2011 ESL are due on July 9, 2010, and reply comments on July 26, 2010.