On June 16, USAC issued the first wave of funding decisions for funding year 2016. This batch of funding commitment decision letters (FCDLs) comes 21 days after the close of the filing window for schools, making it the fastest Wave 001 in the history of the E-rate program.
The funding wave represented 2,251 Form 471 applications, consisting entirely of funding requests for Internet, data, and voice services, the so-called Category 1 discounts. The applications included 4,402 individual funding requests split almost evenly between voice and Internet/data services.
The total funding amount of the wave was $17.7 million. This is the lowest amount committed in a first funding wave; but, given the difficulties associated with USAC’s rollout of the EPC system, the fast funding wave is a positive indication that FY2016 funds will begin flowing, and that USAC will release applications quickly, as soon as they are processed. USAC had previously committed to releasing the first funding wave in June.