E-Rate Changes for 2011
Changes to the E-Rate program will go into effect as of January 3, 2011 and will be implemented in the July 2011-June 2012 year. The changes fall into 3 conceptual categories (from Federal Register):
- Providing more flexibility to select and make available the most cost-effective broadband and other communications services;
- Ability to lease dark or lit fiber from the most cost-effective provider;
- Schools can now allow their communities to use E-rate-funded services outside of school hours;
- Supports eligible services to the residential portion of schools that serve students with special circumstances;
- Indexing the funding cap to inflation;
- Seeking proposals for a limited pilot to establish best practices to support off-campus wireless for portable learning devices outside of regular school/library operating hours.
- Simplifying and streamlining the E-rate application process;
- Reduce administrative burden on applicants;
- Remove technology plan requirement for priority one services;
- Facilitate disposal and recycling of obsolete equipment that received E-rate support.
- Improving safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Codify requirement that competitive bidding processes be fair and open.
- Includes eligible services list for funding year 2011.
Much of this supports the priorities of the National Broadband Plan.