News

  • E-Rate
    Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has announced the Funding Year 2021 E-rate application filing window. Schools that wish to request E-rate funding for services received from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 must submit an FCC Form 471 application in USAC’s E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) between January 15, 2021 and March 25, 2021. Applicants have until January 13, 2021 to update their school profiles in EPC after which they will be locked for the duration of the FCC Form 471 filing window.

  • Ed Tech
    Friday, December 11, 2020
    There is a significant move afoot for school districts to establish private wireless networks in order to solve the at-home connectivity problem for their students. We all want the problem solved, however, the approach to funding the effort needs to be carefully considered. School districts are accustomed to having the federal E-rate program subsidize their telecommunications expenses. It might seem natural to apply the same idea of covering “net costs” for these efforts from district sources as opposed to affording the gross costs. The caution that all decision-makers in school districts consider such an initiative is that E-rate continues to limit eligible expenses to on-campus traffic. For the traffic coming into the school network from off-campus sources, the associated costs need to be removed from the amount being requested from the Universal Service Administrative Corporation (USAC). Likewise, core expenses for the build-out to provide off-campus connectivity are not eligible for E-rate support. In addition, the FCC believes it cannot alter the eligibility unless Congress takes action to change the E-rate program. 

  • Ed Tech
    Thursday, December 10, 2020
    The past few decades have brought significant changes in K-12 education. The federal E-rate program helped wire the nation’s schools. Many schools have empowered students by giving them a mobile device for learning. Education is becoming more personalized and engaging, with students taking a more active role in their learning. Student-driven inquiry, creation and collaboration are replacing teacher-centered instruction — and anytime, anywhere learning is becoming a reality.

  • E-Rate
    Wednesday, December 9, 2020
    On November 30, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the final version of the Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year (FY) 2021. There were no changes to the types or classifications of eligible services from FY 2020. The FCC made minor clarifications, including the following: 1.) Acknowledging the change to District or Library system-wide Category 2 budgets starting in FY 2021; and 2.) Noting equipment or services produced or provided by companies deemed as national security threats are not eligible for E-rate discounts. The FCC also reminds applicants that off-campus use of eligible services, even if used for an educational purpose, is generally ineligible for support.

  • E-Rate
    Friday, November 13, 2020
    As of October 19, 2020, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has opened the Administrative Window for updating entity profile information in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) portal. Profile information includes an entity’s classification, address, enrollment, National School Lunch Program information, and Urban/Rural status and is the basis of the discount calculation in the FCC Forms 471. USAC provides this courtesy update window each fall prior to the opening of the annual FCC Form 471 filing window. Applicants should carefully monitor and/or update their entity profiles from now until early next year at which time USAC will lock the data in EPC until the FCC Form 471 application window closes. There are some changes in the school district and school profile sections in EPC for Funding Year 2021.

  • E-Rate
    Wednesday, October 7, 2020
    As mentioned in our previous News Flash, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the opening of a second Funding Year (FY) 2020 filing window to allow schools to request additional E-rate funding specifically to address increased on-campus bandwidth needs due to COVID-19. In its last three Schools and Libraries News Briefs, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has provided guidance and answered frequently asked questions about the second FY2020 application window.

  • CDE
    Tuesday, September 22, 2020
    On September 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) announced the opening of a second Funding Year (FY) 2020 filing window to allow schools to request additional E-rate funding specifically to address increased on-campus bandwidth needs due to COVID-19. During this second filing window, schools will be able to purchase additional bandwidth for FY2020 to address needs resulting from the increasing shift to one-to-one student-to-device ratios in classrooms, live streaming of classroom instruction to students at home, and expanding use of cloud-based educational tools and platforms.  The second filing window opened on September 21st, and will close at 8:59 P.M. Pacific Time on October 16, 2020. The second filing window is limited to schools that previously submitted an FCC Form 471 for equivalent Category 1 services that has either received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter, or has such a funding request pending, and has not been denied. Funding requests filed during the second window may only receive the same or less than the price per megabit compared to the original contract/service for FY2020 and do not need to undergo a new competitive bidding process, unless required by State and Local laws.

  • E-Rate
    Tuesday, September 8, 2020
    With the support of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, the California K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) and Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) are pleased to invite all California local educational agencies (LEAs), including county offices of education, school districts and charter schools to join other California Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in the statewide E-rate consortium led by CENIC. Annually, this consortium pursues E-rate discount funding for its connections to the California Research and Education Network (CalREN) which provides statewide Internet access for public K-12 schools.

  • E-Rate
    Monday, August 24, 2020
    On August 13, 2020, USAC deployed a new Category 2 Budget Tool for Funding Years 2021-2025.  The tool is designed to provide applicants a forecast of their Category 2 Budgets for the upcoming Category 2 budget period. Applicants will need their Billed Entity Name or Billed Entity Number (BEN) to filter the budget information.

  • E-Rate
    Wednesday, August 12, 2020
    On July 21, 2020 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released for public comment the Funding Year (FY) 2021 draft Eligible Services List (ESL). In terms of specific services eligible for E-rate support, there are no changes from the FY 2020 ESL. However, the Commission did include the recently codified requirement from the 2019 Protecting Against National Security Threats Order: E-rate funds may not be used to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support equipment or services produced or provided by any covered companies designated by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), as well as their parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries. This restriction currently applies to Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation. More information may be found at the FCC’s E-rate website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/e-rate-schools-libraries-usf-program#block-menu-block-4 under the Daily Releases section. The deadline to file comments is August 20, 2020, and to file reply comments is September 4, 2020.