On December 6, 2017, the FCC granted a request filed by Jemez Pueblo Tribal Consortium which sought a waiver of the deadline to request an extension of the implementation deadline applicable to special construction of new fiber. The special construction implementation deadline for FY 2016 was June 30, 2017 and according to SLD’s guidance, any request to push back the deadline had to be submitted before that deadline. The applicant did not submit the appeal until July 24, 2017. The applicant did not receive a funding commitment until June 30, 2017 and in the FCC’s appeal decision stated that the substance of the appeal would have been granted if it was timely filed, the applicant made significant good faith efforts to extend the deadline and there is no evidence of waste, fraud and abuse which is why they have granted this appeal.
However, the FCC made clear that was a narrow decision based on the specific fact pattern and cautioned that “E-rate applicants are ultimately responsible for knowing about and complying with all program rules including deadlines established by our rules”
The FCC Appeal decision can be viewed here.