FCC Releases Order Modernizing E-Rate Program
On Friday September 11, 2015, the Wireline Bureau released an Order further modernizing the E-rate program for schools and libraries. The Order releases the eligible services list (“ESL”) for funding year 2016 for the E-rate program (Appendix B of the Order) and authorizes the Universal Service Administrative Company to open the annual application window no earlier than 60 days after this release (which we calculate to be November 10, 2015). The changes to ESL Category One services reflect the additional options provided to applicants for purchasing high-speed connectivity to eligible schools and libraries in the Second E-rate Modernization Public Notice, including separately listed Leased Lit Fiber, Dark Fiber and Self-Provisioned Broadband Networks as eligible services. The Order also adds Integrated Services Digital Network’s (“ISDN’s”) to the list of eligible voice services. With regard to Category Two of the ESL, the Order adopts changes to the description of eligible firewall services, provide clarifications in response to comments and reply comments, and decline commenters’ requests that it add certain services and equipment to the ESL and revise certain descriptions of eligible Category Two services.
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