On July 3, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission released the draft Eligible Services List for FY2014. Comments to the FCC’s proposed changes will be due on August 2nd, and reply comments must be submitted by August 19th. The FCC Public Notice and the draft ESL may be viewed by clicking here.

While the draft Eligible Services List does not include any major eligibility changes, the FCC does propose some clarifications to the eligibility of web hosting services, stating that eligible interactive communication features offered as a part of a web hosting service are not eligible on a standalone basis, and that applicants should only be allowed to receive E-rate discounts on web hosting services from one service provider.  The draft also seeks comment on “whether the current definition and description of eligible and ineligible web hosting services may be interpreted differently among vendors.”

The Commission is also seeking comment regarding the structure of the List, as well as including an updated definition of “Internet Access” and making minor corrections to the document.

The Eligible Services List is updated by the FCC once per year. Each year, a draft ESL is published and E-rate stakeholders are given an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. After the comment deadline, submitted comments are reviewed and the final ESL is published. The ESL governs E-rate eligibility for products and services purchased with E-rate discounts within the applicable funding year.