On May 12, 2016, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler a letter outlining his concerns about the rollout of the new E-rate portal called EPC. While the FCC has extended the FY 2016 filing window and created a second filing window for consortia and libraries, Senator Johnson remains concerned that the extension does not “resolve the systemic problems in USAC’s EPC platform and the potential for failure in the application process for the upcoming year…” Senator Johnson specifically wants to confirm that any issues pertaining with the rollout of EPC will not adversely affect the Wisconsin State Department of Education’s 800 school consortium application and that there is an emergency plan if the EPC system is unable to handle the submission process even after the extension of the deadline was granted.
Several groups, including the Wisconsin Department of Education had formally reached out to the FCC asking that the FY 2016 Form 471 deadline be extended due to the issues pertaining to EPC. Senator Johnson’s FCC letter is submitted on the heels of Senator’s Thune and Gardner FCC inquiry into the role consultants play in the Rural Health Care program.
Senator Johnson’s FCC letter can be viewed here.