The SLD has recently started sending Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) notices to E-rate service providers. While the PQA Program had historically been for the applicant community, now service providers are receiving this additional scrutiny as well. Specifically, the SLD is asking during the PQA requests that service providers certify that they have complied with 47 C.F.R. § 54.511 which is the Lowest Corresponding Price (LCP) regulation.
The LCP Rule states:
“Providers of eligible services shall not charge schools, school districts, libraries, library consortia, or consortia including any of these entities a price above the lowest corresponding price for supported services, unless the Commission, with respect to interstate services or the state commission with respect to intrastate services, finds that the lowest corresponding price is not compensatory. Promotional rates offered by a service provider for a period of more than 90 days must be included among the comparable rates upon which the lowest corresponding price is determined.”
The SLD is authorized to conduct applicant and service provider audits and mentions in the letter that the purpose of the PQA audit is to determine if payments were made that were in compliance with the E-rate rules and regulations.