Telecom Alert: 2022 E-Rate Eligible Services List; RDOF Fifth Round Funding; NASNA Petition for Rulemaking; $603M in Emergency Connectivity Funding [Vol. XVIII, Issue 52]
2022 E-Rate Eligible Services List
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order on December 17 adopting the final eligible services list for the E-Rate program for 2022. There are two changes from the 2021 eligible services list: (1) new language clarifying that applicants may request both equipment and the software necessary to use the equipment on the FCC Form 470, or request just the equipment, and still receive support for both; and (2) new language guiding applicants to a list of covered equipment and services that cannot be purchased with E-Rate funding.
RDOF Fifth Round Funding
The FCC issued a Public Notice on December 16 announcing the authorization of more than $1 billion in the fifth round of funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 46). The funding was awarded to 69 broadband providers that will serve over 518,000 locations in 32 states. Due to the observance of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Commission extended the deadline for submitting irrevocable standby letters of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letters to January 7, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
NASNA Petition for Rulemaking
Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the National Association of State 911 Administrators Association’s (“NASNA”) Petition requesting Commission action to facilitate Next Generation 911 (“NG911) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 43). Specifically, NASNA asks the Commission to: (1) establish authority over originating service providers’ (“OSPs”) delivery of 911 services through IP-based emergency services networks; (2) amend its rules as needed to advance the transition to—and implementation of—NG911 services; and (3) require the cost of compliance to be the responsibility of OSPs, except where cost-recovery is provided by state law or regulation. Comments and reply comments are due by January 19, 2022, and February 3, 2022, respectively.
$603 Million in Emergency Connectivity Fund Committed
The FCC announced it is committing more than $600 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund. This round of commitments will support 1,651 schools, 85 libraries, and 14 consortia, which are approved to receive nearly 1.2 million connected devices and over 790,000 broadband connections. These additional commitments bring the total committed to over $3.8 billion.