On July 27, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an Order granting two waiver requests for applicants who reduced Emergency Connectivity Fund funding requests prior to the FCC’s extension of the service delivery deadline. The Commission also eliminated the requirement for similarly situated applicants to seek waivers from the Commission in the future and instead directed them to “submit requests directly to USAC.”
The Order granted waiver requests for two applicants who had “voluntarily reduced” their ECF funding requests due to their inability to receive all months of service committed prior to the program’s original service delivery deadline of June 30, 2022. In its December 2022 ECF Service Delivery Date Extension Order, the FCC extended the deadline for all first and second window ECF applications to June 30, 2023 and directed that applicants who had voluntarily reduced commitments prior to the extension to seek waivers to have the original funding commitment restored. The July 27 Order also denied one waiver request, effectively denying the applicant an opportunity to request more funding than was originally committed.
In addition to granting specific waivers it had already received, the FCC noted that the waiver request process was “administratively burdensome” and “contrary to the goal of the ECF Program to quickly provide connectivity.” As a result, the Commission issued a blanket wavier for all affected applicants and directed them to “submit requests directly to USAC to restore the voluntarily reduced months of service for these funding requests without first requesting a waiver from the Commission.”
The FCC’s Order may be found here.