E-Rate Gift, Dark Fiber Rules Clarified

It did not take long for the FCC to respond to the flurry of questions being posted regarding the new E-rate rules adopted in the FCC’s Sixth Report and Order in the Universal Service proceeding. Yesterday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released both a Public Notice and an Order addressing many of the questions that had been posted. E-rate applicants and service providers should review these documents carefully. Most rules are applicable to Funding Year 2011 applications.

The Public Notice contains a chart listing the effective dates of each of the adopted rules. It also includes a Frequently Asked Questions” section on Community Use of E-rate services, Dark Fiber, SPIN Change procedures and the creation of Technology Plans.

The Order contains rulings regarding the eligibility of basic maintenance for internal connections and concerning the new gift rules. On the gift rules, the Bureau addressed Charitable Donations, attendance at Conferences, Seminars and Training Sessions, Representation by school officials on other Government Boards, and Timing of compliance with the new rules.