On January 31, 2019, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to eliminate the E-rate amortization requirement. However, while comments are being submitted by stakeholders and being reviewed by the FCC, the FCC is waiving the amortization requirement for FY 2019.
As the FCC stated in the NPRM, “…A Commission decision in 2000 limited E-Rate’s use for this purpose by requiring schools and libraries to amortize over three years upfront, non-recurring charges of $500,000 or more, including charges for special construction projects. This amortization requirement increased costs for E-Rate supported builds and created uncertainty for applicants about the availability of E-Rate funding for the second and third years of the amortization cycle. In 2014, the Commission suspended the requirement through funding year 2018 in order to lower these barriers to broadband infrastructure investment. Our experience over the past few years suggests that allowing the amortization requirement to be restored would decrease broadband investment while increasing administrative burdens, and that eliminating the requirement would not create a drain on E-Rate funding. Therefore, we now propose to eliminate the amortization requirement and we waive the requirement for the duration of this rulemaking….”
The FCC’s E-rate Amortization NPRM can be viewed here
Comment Date: 30 Days after publication in Federal Register
Reply Comment Date: 45 Days after publication in Federal Register