The first and second E-rate modernization orders, passed in July and December of 2014 respectively, have made significant changes to the E-rate program, including updates to the FCC Forms 470 and 471. In this ongoing analysis series we will examine the FY 2015 E-rate funding applications throughout the filing window, and see what effect E-rate modernization efforts have on applicant funding requests.
Here are some notable changes which should significantly impact FY 2015 funding requests:
- Overall E-rate funding cap increased to $3.9 billion
- Voice service discounts phased-down 20 percentage points per year
- Funding available for purchase, maintenance and management of network electronics, for the first time in years
- Non-broadband legacy services now ineligible for discounts (email hosting, web hosting, custom calling features, etc.)
The E-rate filing window opened on January 14th, and some proactive applicants have already submitted their Form 471 applications to USAC. This table shows the applicant type of the early filers, and compares the application count to the filing window for FY 2014. This reflects the preliminary data from the earliest applications in the E-rate filing window, which will end on March 26th, 2015.
Our next table gives a breakdown of the types of E-rate purchases for which applicants listing on their forms, the amount requested for each type and the average discount rate.