On January 26, 2021, a Petition for Declaratory Ruling was filed with the Federal Communications Commission requesting that “the off-campus use of E-rate-supported services to enable remote learning” be considered an eligible educational purpose and be funded in Funding Years 2020 and 2021. The petition was filed by numerous industry groups and state agencies including:
- The Schools, Health & Libraries Coalition (SHLB)
- The American Library Association (ALA)
- The State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA)
- The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
- The Urban Libraries Council (ULC)
- The National School Boards Association (NSBA)
- The Wireless Futures Project Open Technology Institute at New America
- The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The petitioners ask for expedited action from the FCC, including temporarily considering off-campus connectivity services as eligible for program discounts and a special “remote learning application window… allowing applicants to submit initial or revised requests for E-rate funding for off-campus services used for educational purposes during Funding Years 2020 and 2021.” The petition also includes a discussion of how the requested actions are within the FCC’s statutory authority.
The petition may be viewed here.