On June 21, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the draft Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year 2018. Comments to the draft ESL are due July 21, 2017, with reply comments due August 7, 2017.
While the draft ESL includes no major changes to product and service eligibility, there is one eligibility clarification the FCC is seeking input on, eligibility of on-premises Network Equipment:
Network Equipment with Mixed Eligibility – On-premises equipment that connects to a Category Two-eligible LAN is eligible for Category One support if it is necessary to make a Category One broadband service functional. If the price for components that enable the LAN can be isolated from the price of the components that enable the Category One service, those costs should be cost allocated out of the Category One funding request.
Furthermore, FCC is seeking comment on potentially extending a waiver service category requirement as well – the category of service that should apply to inside wiring between different schools or libraries sharing a single building. In the public notice, inside wiring is defined as customer-owned or controlled intra-building wiring on the applicant side of the demarcation point. This potential change would clarify if there is a way to separate a Wide Area Network and Local Area Network functionality in a piece of equipment, the charges should be split accordingly.
On February 8, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission issued an Order clarifying the eligibility of certain connectivity services. In September 2016, the Commission finalized the Funding Year 2017 Eligible Services List. Starting with the FY2017 ESL, “connections between different schools with campuses located on the same property” were defined as “Category One digital transmission services.” As a result, many connections which were classified as Category Two services in prior Funding Years will now be classified as Category One services. The FCC created two waivers on this determination and wanted feedback whether to extend this waiver to FY2018.
The FY2018 draft Eligible Services List may be found here.