FCC Delays Changes to E-Rate Application
Cites need for schools and libraries to focus on pandemic
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.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.