In Re Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, CC Docket No. 02-6, Report and Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Dec. 2, 2009)
In this report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking, we address and seek comment on issues regarding the services eligible for funding under the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism, also known as the E-rate program. First, we modify our rules to expressly include interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and text messaging as eligible services under the E-rate program. Second, we release the list of services that will be eligible for discounts for E-rate funding year 2010. Finally, we seek further comment on the eligibility of certain services in future funding years, as well as on proposed changes to the process for determining the services that will be eligible for support under the E-rate program.
In the report and order, we conclude that interconnected VoIP service is eligible for E-rate support and should continue to be an eligible service under the E-rate program. We also conclude that text messaging is eligible for E-rate support. In response to the 2010 ESL Public Notice , we clarify the E-rate program eligibility of video on-demand servers, ethernet, web hosting, wireless local area network (LAN) controllers, and virtualization software. We find that telephone broadcast messaging, unbundled warranties, power distribution units, softphones, interactive white boards, and e-mail archiving are ineligible for E-rate program funding. F inally, we release the Eligible Services List (ESL) for E-rate funding year 2010.
In the further notice of proposed rulemaking, we seek comment on whether particular services should be designated as eligible for E-rate support in funding year 2011 and beyond. Specifically, we tentatively conclude that the ESL should not include separately-priced firewall services, anti-virus/anti-spam software, scheduling services, and wireless Internet access applications. Also, we tentatively conclude that web hosting should not be eligible for funding under the E-rate program, or, alternatively, should only be eligible for E-rate program funds as a Priority 2 service. In the further notice w e also tentatively conclude that we should change our rules to establish that specific eligible products and services should be listed in the ESL as opposed to being listed individually in the rules. We seek comment on our tentative conclusions on the process for developing the ESL, including requiring the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to submit any proposed changes to the ESL to the Commission no later than March 30 th of each year. Finally, we tentatively conclude to revise our rules to eliminate the requirement that the ESL be released by public notice, which would provide the Commission the flexibility to release the ESL by order .
Comment Date: (30 days after publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (45 days after publication in the Federal Register)