The Report and Order lays out the regulations which will govern the E-rate program, giving clarity to the ideas which were presented with Chairman Wheeler’s original proposal.
Some of the more notable clarifications from the Report and Order are as follows:
- Managed Wi-Fi service will be eligible under Category Two
- Cellular data service will be eligible under Category One, but only if an applicant can demonstrate that it is the most cost-effective means of delivering classroom connectivity for a site
- Non-broadband voice telecommunication service is being phased out based on the Category One discount matrix, with each discount band for voice phone service decreased by twenty percentage points per year
- An applicant that qualified for a 90% discount on phone service in Funding Year 2014, will receive a 70% discount on phone service in FY 2015 (90%-70%), a 50% discount on phone service in FY 2016, a 30% discount on phone service in FY 2017, and a 10% discount on phone service in FY 2018
- An applicant that qualified for a 40% discount on phone service in FY 2014, will receive a 20% discount in FY 2015, and no discount in FY 2016
- The per-student cap on Category Two funding is $150 per student, multiplied times the applicant discount rate
- The per-student amount will cap all Category Two spending for an applicant from FY 2015 through FY 2019; applicants could apply to use all of the $150 Category Two cap in FY 2015, or spread it out until FY 2019.
- De minimis expenditures for commercially available Internet services, exempt from the Form 470 requirement, will be calculated on a per site basis, based on size and location.
- Eligible services changes
- A draft Eligible Services List, consistent with the new Report and Order and streamlined from previous years, will soon be available for public comment
- Voicemail, email hosting, paging, and web hosting will no longer be eligible
- Basic maintenance services for eligible equipment will remain eligible
- Internet caching servers will be added to the Eligible Services List