The FCC is seeking comments on a significantly streamlined draft Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year 2015, which was released today. This ESL includes recent changes and modernization efforts from the FCC’s 7th Report and Order.

Comments are due by September 3rd, with the reply comment period extending through September 18th. E-rate stakeholders can submit comments online via the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System.

The format of the FY 2015 ESL has been changed to remove the list of ineligible services as well as the glossary of terms that had been included in previous ESLs, and consolidates eligible services into simple Category One and Category Two sections.

The draft ESL reflects notable changes to eligible services compared to previous funding years:

  • Caching equipment has been added to the Category Two list of eligible equipment
  • Managed network services will be eligible as a Category Two service
  • On-campus wireless Internet access and mobile hot-spot data service plans will be eligible under Category One services, but must meet cost-effectiveness guidelines
  • Voice telephony services will be phased out of eligibility over a five-year period
  • Legacy telephone components, web hosting, voice mail and email services will not be eligible for E‑rate discounts as of Funding Year 2015