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OpenRange E-Rate Program
Funding Year 2017 Demand Estimated at $3.2B
On May 17, 2017, the Universal Service Fund (USAC) released their annual demand estimate filed with the Federal Communications Commission. USAC estimates the demand for FY2017 to be $3.20 billion, of which $2.296 billion is for Category One and $904 million for category Two. There was a total of 40,257 Form 471s submitted by May 11, 2017.
All Compliant 2017 Requests to be Funded
On May 24, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that every Category One and Category Two request that is eligible and compliant with the rules and regulations will be funded. The FCC directed USAC to use $1.2 billion in unused funds to carry forward to FY2017 in order to ensure sufficient funds to cover every request.
First FY2017 Funding Wave
On May 26, 2017, USAC announced the first funding wave for FY2017. It included $48.6 million in funding commitments for 4,920 applicants, or about 1 out of every 5 applicants. News of the first wave comes 36 days prior to the July 1 start of the funding year. This is an improvement over the first funding wave of FY2016, which included only $17.7 million for 2,138 applicants and was issued 15 days prior to the start of the funding year. FY2017 Wave 001 was comprised mainly of commitments for Category One services, but did not include commitments of $81,213.11 for nine Category Two funding requests.
State E-Rate Coordinator
E-rate was created by the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 to ensure that schools and libraries, particularly those in low-income and rural areas, have affordable access to telecommunications, Internet services and related technology equipment. With the E-Rate Modernization Order, adopted July 11, 2014 (summary) and the Second E-Rate Modernization Order, adopted December 11, 2014 (summary), the focus shifted from telecommunications in general to broadband to the student in the classroom.
OpenRange has partnered with Funds For Learning, a nationally recognized E-rate consulting firm, to provide Oklahoma schools and libraries with complimentary E-rate support services, including a help desk with real time assistance with common E-rate questions, live and prerecorded online E-rate training sessions and special news and information updates delivered via email. Use these services today.