On May 23, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released their budget estimate to congress. The FCC has stated that one of their top strategic objectives is to “develop a flexible approach that will modernize, reform, and simplify the Universal Service Fund programs to facilitate affordable broadband deployment, reduce and remove regulatory burdens and barriers to infrastructure investment and provide opportunities for innovation in broadband services and technologies…” The overall FY 2018 FCC budget estimate is $322 million which is a decrease of 5.2% from FY 2017.
The FCC budget statement also specifically references the E-rate program. The FCC is looking to improve the E-rate process and stated that “… the Commission is committed to solving recent problems with USAC’s application system that have negatively impacted the ability of schools and libraries to apply for and receive funding. The Commission will ensure that USAC remediates these problems and administers this program in a manner which is transparent and accountable…”
The FCC FY2018 budget estimate can be viewed here