The FCC opened a special E-rate filing window for those districts adversely impacted by the recent hurricanes. Applicants had from November 13, 2017 to December 13 2017 to submit their Form 471 applications. School districts requested an additional $9.3 million coming from Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the Virgin Islands. As the deadline to submit E-rate funds for FY 2018 comes to a close on March 22, 2018, here is an update to the applications submitted during this critical second filing window for FY 2017.
 
Of the 85 applicants who requested additional funds:
  • 67 applicants were committed E-rate support for $1.7 million
  • 10 applicants were denied E-rate support for $436,000
  • 11 applications are still being reviewed and pending for a total of $7.15 million
The Puerto Rico Department of Education requested $6.7 million in the second window and these applications are still in review. The Puerto Rico State Department of Education requested “funding to replace MPLS fiber for 419 schools, to replace the fiber and cabling to support the leased WIFI equipment with regard to the Departments Managed Internal Broadband Contract and requested funding for 419 damage assessments of the cabling and fiber damaged or destroyed in the hurricanes.”
 
Per the FCC Hurricane Relief Order, applicants and service providers that receive more than $500,000 in emergency relief funding will automatically be audited by USAC to ensure compliance. Assuming the Puerto Rico Department of Education receives a funding commitment soon, they should expect a USAC audit on how these emergency funds are being used. Their service provider, Puerto Rico Telephone Company, should also expect to see an audit as well based on these regulations tied to this emergency funding.