This past week the FCC denied invoice deadline extension requests for another 9 applicants. This brings to 220 the total number of applicants who have been denied since April of this year.
The funds in question represent up to $10.2 million in goods and services that have been approved for E-rate discounts but not yet billed. Invoice extensions are necessary when the normal deadline for submitting E-rate payment paperwork has passed. Last April, the FCC began enforcing a hardline approach to the processing of late payment requests, citing the need for increased efficiency.
The invoice denials impact 1,560 school sites and 116 library facilities.
- Median school applicant: 941 students, 3 sites
- Median library applicant: single site
- Median E-rate discount: 76%
- Total students impacted: 757,200
The denials appear to hit small schools and libraries the hardest, particularly those who do not rely on third-party consultants. (Overall, 60% of applicants use consultants; however, only 29% of the applicants requesting invoice extensions listed a consultant on their funding application, indicating that those without extra help may be impacted the most by the FCC’s new approach.)
A list of the applicants and the potential dollar amounts associated with their Form 471 applications is available here.