A total of $2.4 billion has been committed for E-rate funding year 2021. This is the fastest that USAC has ever awarded this amount. In the entire history of the E-rate program, there has only been one other year in which USAC came close: funding year 2015. This is notable because it was the next year, funding year 2016, that USAC implemented the EPC online portal. The EPC system initially created issues for applicants, significantly slowing down the application review process.
In 2016, the amount of funding awarded by November 15 was only $0.99 billion. This created many issues for applicants and services providers. Fortunately, USAC has steadily been improving its customer service and the EPC system. This year, with funding commitments awarded in record time, those improvements are on full display.