December 04, 2019
E-rate News Flash
Special Edition: Federal Communications Commission Issues Category Two Order
Announcements and News
FCC Acts to Speed the Deployment of Wi-Fi in Schools and Libraries
On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order at https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-acts-speed-deployment-wi-fi-schools-and-libraries outlining the rules for a permanent Category Two funding mechanism for eligible schools and libraries. Category Two services enable the distribution of a broadband signal on a school’s campus, commonly known as “WiFi.” Highlights of the Order include the following:
- Category Two budget allocations will reset for all applicants in Funding Year 2021.
- Budgets will be for a fixed five-year cycle starting in Funding Year 2021, and ending in Funding Year 2026, after which a new fixed cycle will begin.
- Budgets will be allocated and utilized on a districtwide basis and are no longer tied to specific schools.
- The five-year fixed districtwide budget calculation will be the greater of $167 per student or $25,000 per school.
- Equipment transfer rules will be eliminated effective Funding Year 2021.
For Funding Year 2020, the five-year test which began in Funding Year 2015 will be extended through a sixth year. Applicants will calculate their per-school allocation and add 20% for Year Six, deducting any funds committed for the school since Funding Year 2015. It is important to note that any unused funding allocations will not be carried over into Funding Year 2021.
No new services were added to the Eligible Services List and the FCC made permanent the eligibility of managed internal broadband connections, caching, and basic maintenance of internal connections.
K12 HSN will be conducting webinars to review the Category Two Order. These will be held on Thursday, December 12 at 2:00 PM, and will be repeated on Wednesday, December 18 at 10:00 AM. You may sign up for the webinars at the K12 HSN E-rate Training website at https://www.k12hsn.org/resources/erate/training.