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E-rate and ECF Program Rules Waived in Response to Hurricane Fiona

On September 22, 2022, the FCC released an Order, waiving certain E-rate and Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program rules and deadlines, among other Universal Service Fund (USF) programs, to assist participants and service providers, including USF contributors, located in areas affected by Hurricane Fiona, which struck Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022. In the past, the FCC has issued waivers of certain USF program rules and deadlines for areas affected by natural disasters.

In the Order, the Commission noted that, “For the purposes of the waivers we grant today, we define ‘Affected Disaster Areas’ as the areas in Puerto Rico the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated as eligible for Individual or Public Assistance for the purposes of federal disaster relief as of the date of release of this Order.”

In response to the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona, the FCC waived various provisions of the E-rate, Emergency Connectivity Fund, and other USF Program rules for participants located in the Affected Disaster Areas, including:

E-rate Program

  • E-rate Program Deadlines – For schools and libraries located in Affected Disaster Areas, the FCC waived, on an emergency interim basis, the following deadlines that may occur after the effective date of this Order and provided those affected with up to 150 calendar days from the effective date of this Order to submit the required filing:
    • Requests for review or waiver of decisions by USAC, directed to USAC or the Commission
    • Filing FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Certification Form)
    • Filing FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form) and Form 474 (Service Provider Invoice Form).
  • Service Implementation Deadline Extensions
  • Documentation Retention and Production
  • Service and Equipment Substitutions

Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

  • Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Deadlines
  • Documentation Retention and Production
  • Service and Equipment Substitutions

The full FCC Order can be viewed here

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