January 1, 2019 marked the start date for USAC’s new third-party contractor, MAXIMUS.
USAC opened the annual filing window on January 15 and closed it on March 27. While overall Category One requests declined for the fourth straight year, Category Two requests bucked the trend and showed a strong increase.
FY2019 Wave 001 was released on April 27, 2019, with commitments totaling more than $530M. Funding commitments continued at a strong pace, albeit somewhat behind FY2018’s record pace.
A record number of E-rate applicants participated in a nationwide survey, and their responses were remarkably consistent: the E-rate program plays an essential role in delivering more cost-effective Internet access to our nation’s communities.
Over the course of 2019, the FCC took steps to make major changes to the way Category Two funding requests were administered, culminating in a December 3 Report and Order which charted the way forward for the foreseeable future.
- FCC Staff Advises Commission to Keep C2 (Feb)
- FCC Proposes Permanent C2 Budgets (July)
- Stakeholders Agree on C2 Reform (Aug)
- Improved C2 in '21 With Bridge for All in '20 (Dec)
Numerous FCC Orders were issued during the year aimed at improving the efficiency of the program, granting relief for natural disasters, and targeting waste, fraud, and abuse.