The FCC modernized its E-rate policies in 2014 to encourage fiber build-out to rural schools and libraries. The implementation of these policies has unfortunately been fraught with confusion, and this year is no different. The expiration of the suspension of the amortization policy has put hundreds of upcoming special construction E-rate projects in FY2019 at risk. USAC’s inconsistent interpretations of the FCC’s gift rule have had a chilling effect on product demonstrations, preventing schools and libraries from selecting the most cost-effective services. Furthermore, the inconsistent guidance around the drop-down menu on Form 470 may still cause applicants to be unfairly denied over a technicality.
With the E-rate filing window opening from January 16 to March 27, “Potential Pitfalls for E-rate Applicants” is a must-watch webinar for E-rate applicants. The webinar will feature several E-rate experts discussing how applicants can avoid these traps and apply successfully for E-rate funding in 2019.
Funds For Learning CEO John Harrington and President Cathy Cruzan will walk applicants through practical tips for improving their applications' chances of success. Gina Spade, founder of Broadband Legal Strategies, who formerly worked at the FCC on the E-rate staff, will also offer her insight on the cost-effectiveness standard and other current issues. SHLB Executive Director John Windhausen will moderate the discussion.