E-Rate Central E-Rate Consultants
E-Rate Central Home E-Rate Consulting E-Rate Application Tips E-rate Forms Rack E-rate National and State Specific Information E-rate Service Provider Information E-rate Archives: News, Bulletins, CIPA, FCC, Terminology, Code9 Contact Us
Receive the
E-rate Weekly
Newsletter
E-Rate Central on Twitter  E-Rate Central on Facebook  E-Rate Central on LinkedIn
 

E-Rate Appeals Procedure

If you disagree with an SLD decision, you have two appeal options:

1. Write to the SLD and tell the SLD why you disagree with the SLD decision and what outcome you request. This is known as a "letter of appeal." The address for appeals is:

Letter of Appeal
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 - Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ 07981

- OR -

2.

Write to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to tell why you disagree with the SLD's decision letter. While you may write directly to the FCC without first presenting your appeal to the SLD, you are encouraged to write first to the SLD so that the SLD has an opportunity to review your appeal and grant it, if appropriate. The FCC overturns SLD decisions infrequently. The FCC address where you may direct appeals is:

Federal Communications Commission
Office of the Secretary
445 - 12th Street, S.W.
Room TW-A325
Washington, DC 20554

You should refer to CC Docket Nos. 96-45 and 97-21 on the first page of your appeal to the FCC.

All appeals must be RECEIVED within 60 days of the date of your decision letter from the SLD. Failure to meet this requirement will result in automatic dismissal of your appeal.

SLD Appeals Procedure:

If you write a letter of appeal and submit it to the SLD, the SLD will send an acknowledgement letter, review your appeal, and respond to it in writing. The SLD will explain whether it agrees with your letter of appeal and whether it can approve your requested outcome. If you disagree with the SLD's response to your appeal, then you may file an appeal with the FCC. That appeal must be RECEIVED by the FCC within 60 days of the date of the SLD decision.

When a client of the SLD receives a written decision from the SLD, there is the opportunity to appeal. The majority of appeals that SLD receives relate to funding commitment decisions. Regardless of the topic of a client's appeal, the process is the same for submitting the letter of appeal to the SLD when a written decision has been rendered.

FCC Appeals Rules as of 2003:

§ 54.719 Parties permitted to seek review of Administrator decisions.

  1. Any person aggrieved by an action taken by a division of the Administrator, as defined in § 54.701(g), may seek review from the appropriate Committee of the Board, as defined in § 54.705.
  2. Any person aggrieved by an action taken by the Administrator pertaining to a billing, collection or disbursement matter that falls outside the jurisdiction of the Committees of the Board may seek review from the Board of Directors of the Administrator, as defined in § 54.703.
  3. Any person aggrieved by an action taken by a division of the Administrator, as defined in § 54.701(g), a Committee of the Board of the Administrator, as defined in § 54.705, or the Board of Directors of the Administrator, as defined in § 54.703, may seek review from the Federal Communications Commission, as set forth in § 54.722.

§ 54.720 Filing deadlines.

  1. An affected party requesting review of an Administrator decision by the Commission pursuant to § 54.719(c), shall file such request within sixty (60) days of the issuance of the decision by a division or Committee of the
  2. An affected party requesting review of a division decision by a Committee of the Board pursuant to § 54.719(a), shall file such request within
  3. An affected party requesting review by the Board of Directors pursuant to § 54.719(b) regarding a billing, collection, or disbursement matter that falls outside the jurisdiction of the Committees of the Board shall file such request within sixty (60) days of issuance of the Administrator's
  4. The filing of a request for review with a Committee of the Board under § 54.719(a) or with the full Board under § 54.703, shall toll the time period for seeking review from the Federal Communications Commission. Where the time for filing an appeal has been tolled, the party that filed the request for review from a Committee of the Board or the full Board shall have sixty (60) days from the date the Committee or the Board issues a decision to file an appeal with the Commission.
  5. Parties shall adhere to the time periods for filing oppositions and

§ 54.721 General filing requirements.

  1. Except as otherwise provided herein, a request for review of an Administrator decision by the Federal Communications Commission shall be filed with the Federal Communications Commission's Office of the Secretary in accordance with the general requirements set forth in part 1 of this chapter. The request for review shall be captioned "In the matter of: Request for Review by (name of party seeking review) of Decision of Universal Service Administrator" and shall reference FCC Docket Nos. 97-21 and 96-45.
  2. A request for review pursuant to § 54.719(a) through (c) shall contain:
    1. a statement setting forth the party's interest in the matter presented for review;
    2. a full statement of relevant, material facts with supporting affidavits and documentation;
    3. the question presented for review, with reference, where appropriate, to the relevant Federal Communications Commission rule, Commission order, or statutory provision;
    4. a statement of the relief sought and the relevant statutory or regulatory provision pursuant to which such relief is sought.
  3. A copy of a request for review that is submitted to the Federal Communications Commission shall be served on the Administrator consistent with the requirement for service of documents set forth in § 1.47 of this chapter.
  4. If a request for review filed pursuant to § 54.720(a) through (c) alleges prohibitive conduct on the part of a third party, such request for review shall be served on the third party consistent with the requirement for service of documents set forth in § 1.47 of this chapter. The third party may file a response to the request for review. Any response filed by the third party shall adhere to the time period for filing replies set forth in § 1.45 of this chapter and the requirement for service of documents set forth in § 1.47 of this chapter.

§ 54.722 Review by the Common Carrier Bureau or the Commission.

  1. Requests for review of Administrator decisions that are submitted to the Federal Communications Commission shall be considered and acted upon by the Common Carrier; provided, however, that requests for review that raise novel questions of fact, law or policy shall be considered by the full Commission.
  2. An affected party may seek review of a decision issued under delegated authority by the Common Carrier Bureau pursuant to the rules set forth in part 1 of this chapter.

§ 54.723 Standard of review.

  1. The Common Carrier Bureau shall conduct de novo review of requests for review of decisions issued by the Administrator.
  2. The Federal Communications Commission shall conduct de novo review of requests for review of decisions by the Administrator that involve novel questions of fact, law, or policy; provided, however, that the Commission shall not conduct de novo review of decisions issued by the Common Carrier Bureau under delegated authority.

§ 54.724 Time periods for Commission approval of Administrator decisions.

  1. The Common Carrier Bureau shall, within ninety (90) days, take action in response to a request for review of an Administrator decision that is properly before it. The Common Carrier Bureau may extend the time period for taking action on a request for review of an Administrator decision for a period of up to ninety days. The Commission may also, at any time, extend the time period for taking action on a request for review of an Administrator decision pending before the Common Carrier Bureau.
  2. The Commission shall issue a written decision in response to a request for review of an Administrator decision that involves novel questions of fact, law or policy within ninety (90) days. The Commission may extend the time period for taking action on the request for review of an Administrator decision. The Common Carrier Bureau also may extend the time period for taking action on a request for review of an Administrator decision for a period of up to ninety days.

§ 54.725 Universal service disbursements during pendency of a request for review and Administrator decision.

  1. When a party has sought review of an Administrator decision under § 54.719(a) through (c) in connection with the schools and libraries support mechanism or the rural health care support mechanism, the Administrator shall not reimburse a service provider for the provision of discounted services until a final decision has been issued either by the Administrator or by the Federal Communications Commission; provided, however, that the Administrator may disburse funds for any amount of support that is not the subject of an appeal.
  2. When a party has sought review of an Administrator decision under § 54.719(a) through (c) in connection with the high cost and low income support mechanisms, the Administrator shall not disburse support to a service provider until a final decision has been issued either by the Administrator or by the Federal Communications Commission; provided, however, that the Administrator may disburse funds for any amount of support that is not the subject of an appeal.