On February 21, 2019, the Schools, Health, Libraries, Broadband Coalition (SHLB) sent the FCC a letter supporting the recently released category two staff E-rate report. SHLB is “urging” the FCC to quickly issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) before the rules revert back to the 2-in-5 requirements. SHLB would also like the Commission to clarify when the category two cycle starts for districts as well.
The letter states “Equally as important, we seek immediate clarification from the Commission regarding the implementation of the current 5-year Category 2 budget. Specifically, E-rate stakeholders have received conflicting guidance from USAC with respect to the current Category 2 budget cycle as set forth in the 2014 E-rate Modernization Order and Second E-rate Modernization Order. At times, the USAC Client Service Bureau has stated applicants may obtain Category 2 funding for five years from the first funding year that Category 2 services are sought. For example, under Scenario 1, if an applicant obtained Category 2 funding in 2017, it would have until the end of the FY 2021 funding year to use its Category 2 budget. At other times, USAC has advised that Category 2 funding under the current 5-year budget would expire after the end of the FY 2019 funding year, in essence, requiring the applicant to use all of its Category 2 budget by FY 2019 or forfeit any remaining funding”
The SHLB FCC letter can be viewed here.