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FCC Delays Changes to E-Rate Application

(Image credit: FCC)

The FCC said it is putting off planned changes to the form carriers fill out for E-Rate funding, citing COVID-19 and the need of folks to focus their resources on dealing with the pandemic "without the added burden of having to familiarize themselves with a modified form." 

E-Rate is the subsidy carriers can apply for to fund high-speed broadband to schools and libraries. 

Related: Senate Dems Introduce $4 Billion E-Rate Bill

The FCC was planning to change the drop-down menu on online form 470 to minimize confusion and in response to stakeholder requests, and do it before carriers filed for their 2020-2021 funding. But the Wireless Competition Bureau in concern with the Office of the Managing Director, said it will remain unchanged for the next funding cycle " to allow schools and libraries to continue to focus their time and resources on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic." 

The FCC will put off any changes until at least 2022, they said "given the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." 

With the advent of COVID-19, the E-Rate subsidy has gained new prominence as schools closed and education moved online.