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May 25, 2020

Introduction

The E-Rate Central News for the Week is prepared by E-Rate Central. E-Rate Central specializes in providing consulting, compliance, and forms processing services to E-rate applicants. To learn more about our services, please contact us by phone (516-801-7804), fax (516-801-7814), or through our Contact Us web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central website.

FY 2019:

Wave 60 for FY 2019 was reportedly released last week, but no funding date is yet available.  Cumulative commitments are $2.32 billion.

FY 2020:

Wave 3 for FY 2020 was released on Thursday, May 21st for a total of $53.6 million including.  Cumulative commitments through May 14th are $766 million.  Nationwide, USAC has now funded 58% of the FY 2020 applications received during the filing window representing over 26% of the requested funding.

USAC issued a Special Edition News Brief on May 21, 2020, reviewing all the resources and program changes made available by USAC and the FCC to schools and libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In summary:

  • USAC launched an enhanced website detailing the relief available across all four of the universal service programs.  USAC's COVID-19 Response page provides a summary of resources and a link to the webpages of each of the Universal Service programs that contain more detailed information, including the E-rate COVID-19 Resources page.
  • Recent FCC orders and public notices providing E-rate relief for schools and libraries include:
  • The FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Initiative soliciting pledges from more than 750 companies and organizations to provide connectivity and devices to students and teachers who need them for remote learning (see our newsletters of March 23rd and May 4th).
  • CARES Act funding available to schools through the U.S Department of Education.  Note in particular the subsequent joint announcement by the FCC and the Department of Education to use up to $16 billion to support remote learning (see our newsletter of May 4th).
  • CARES Act funding to libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (“IMLS”).  Last week, the FCC announced that it is partnering with IMLS to promote the use of $50 million in CARES funding to increase community broadband access for libraries and Tribal organizations.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of May 22, 2020 reminds applicants with pending applications that the summer contact deferral period has begun.  It will remain in effect until September 11th, the Friday after Labor Day.

If PIA attempts to contact an applicant for the first time during this period, and does not receive a response, the application will be put on hold either until the end of the deferral period or until the applicant proactively reaches out to PIA to resume the application review.

If an application was already under review prior to the start of the summer deferral period last Friday, the review process will continue unless the applicant requests summer deferral status.  Applications not on summer deferral will continue to receive automated deadline notifications subject to the COVID-19 inquiry response extension policies discussed above.