The FCC released the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on how Category Two budgets should be regulated for FY2020 and beyond. The FCC stated in the NPRM that “…our experience over the past few years suggests that these budgets have resulted in a broader distribution of funding that is more equitable and more predictable for schools and libraries. We also see clear improvements in the way in which funding for internal connections has been administered in the five-year period since adoption of the category two budget approach. Therefore, we now propose to make the category two budget approach permanent and seek comment on potential modifications that could simplify the budgets, decrease the administrative burden of applying for category two services, and thereby speed the deployment of Wi-Fi in schools and libraries across the country….”
  • The FCC proposes amending the rules to make permanent category two budget approach for all;
  • The FCC proposes and seeks comment on ways to improve the category two budget approach;
  • The FCC seeks comment on how to best transition from the five-year approach;
  • While the FCC proposes to maintain the current existing budget multipliers for schools and libraries, they also want to seek comment on whether to change the per student or per-square foot budget multipliers, particularly for entities that may have participated at a lower rate or that may face higher costs for internal connections;
  • The FCC seeks comment if there are additional services that they should consider to make eligible for category two funding
Comment Date: (30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
 
The FCC Category Two NPRM can be viewed here.