The E-rate program has gone through a fundamental evolution, and much of that has occurred in 2014 – and for once, I’m referring to the Gregorian calendar year, not a funding year. Wrapping up with the FCC’s historical vote to increase the E-rate fund on December 11th (early presents are such a treat), the E-rate program has become an entirely different beast than we’ve ever seen before.
Before everyone gears up for the filing window in January (please?), let’s take a look at some of the notable things that have happened along the way:
- FCC prioritizes reforming and modernizing the E-rate program (Jan 2014)
- $2 Billion identified for roll-over funding (Feb 2014)
- All P2 denied for FY 2013 (Feb 2014)
- FFL and the E-rate Reform Coalition meet with FCC staff to discuss modernization (Feb 2014)
- FCC reveals proposed E-rate updates (Mar 2014)
- FFL and the E-rate Reform Coalition submit comments on FCC public notice (Apr 2014)
- E-rate reform workshop hosted by the FCC (May 2014)
- FFL prepares an analysis of the Priority One demand for FY 2014 (May 2014)
- The FCC revises cost-allocation guidance for FY 2015 (May 2014)
- More detail provided on possible reform order (June 2014)
- FCC votes to pass the E-rate Modernization Order (July 2014)
- 7th Report and Order and further notice of proposed rulemaking released (July 2014)
- FCC releases FY 2105 Draft Eligible Services List (August 2014)
- FFL analyzes the impact of new discount rate calculation methods (August 2014)
- All P2 denied for FY 2014 (August 2014)
- Draft Forms 470 and 471 prepared (Sept 2014)
- FFL and other groups call for permanent fund increase (also here and here) (Oct 2014)
- FY 2015 ESL and Forms 470 and 471 approved (Oct and Nov 2014)
- FCC Chairman circulates plan to increase E-rate fund (Nov 2014)
- Proposal to increase E-rate fund approved by the FCC (Dec 2014)
What a year! These changes are exciting (and challenging), but ultimately should give schools and libraries the funding they need to provide education with 21st century technology.
Happy holidays and we wish you a successful filing window in the New Year!