On December 14, 2021, the FCC initiated a review process to consider ways in which the competitive bidding requirements for the E-rate program could be enhanced. “It is our nation’s largest education technology program, and it has been the force behind making sure that schools and libraries in every corner of this country have access to high-speed broadband,” said FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel. “But great programs do not thrive without continuous review and care.”
The proposal under consideration would require bids for E-rate services and equipment to be uploaded into a centralized document portal managed by the program administrator; however, the proposal does not impact the current finding year 2022 bidding cycle. No changes have yet to be made to the existing regulations. Furthermore, if the FCC does vote to change the bidding requirements, it is anticipated that new rules and/or procedures would not come into effect until a later date (e.g., funding year 2023 or later.) The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is not yet available.
The FCC’s news release can be viewed here.
The full statement issued by Chairwoman Rosenworcel can be viewed here.