In response to an inquiry from the FCC, USAC notified the FCC officially yesterday that it has succeeded in finding additional funds that “would be sufficient” to make commitments to all pending FY2010 Priority 2 applications at the 80% discount level. This decision impacts 1408 applicants and 870 service providers and could result in nearly $280 million in new E-rate funding commitments for FY2010. The FCC must now provide formal approval before USAC can issue funding waves at the 80% level.
On January 24, 2011, the USAC Schools and Libraries Committee adopted a resolution, pending FCC approval, that would have set the final Priority 2 discount threshold for FY2010 at 81%. On February 16th, Funds For Learning submitted a petition to the FCC contending, among other things, that USAC’s decision was premature, and that USAC had or would have the resources necessary to fund FY2010 requests down at least to those at 80%. The FCC issued a Public Notice on February 18, seeking public comment on FFL’s petition. A number of E-rate stakeholders submitted comments in support of (or opposition to) FFL’s petition. After the comment period closed, there was no public communication on the topic until yesterday, when USAC notified the FCC that it did indeed have the funds available to satisfy FY2010 P2 requests at the 80% level.