On August 5, 2011, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) filed a request for supplemental information with the Federal Communications Commission. In its request, USAC seeks clarification from the FCC regarding gift-giving rules in the E-rate program subsequent to the Commission’s Sixth Report and Order. Topics for which USAC requests additional guidance include:
- further definitions of the terms “class of subscribers” and “available to the public” as they relate to E-rate gift rules,
- identifying if equipment received by an applicant should be considered a charitable donation or a free service,
- conditions surrounding gift and equipment raffles at conference events or trade show booths,
- testimonials provided by applicants for service provider publications (with or without compensation),
- potential remedies for gift rule violations if gifts are returned or purchased, and,
- timelines and applicability for enforcement of gift rules.
USAC’s request was not submitted in direct response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry or Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. It is currently unknown when – and in what format – the commission will provide further guidance.