FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau Issues Public Notice on Category Two Budgets: Seeks Comments

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on whether the five year, $150 per-student (schools), and $2.30 or $5.00 per-square foot (library) budgets established for E-rate Category Two funding, are sufficient.  The five year category two budget guidelines were set forth in the 2014 Second E-rate Modernization Order.

The Public Notice encourages E-rate participants to report whether Category Two budgets were sufficient enough to increase access to funding for Category Two equipment and services, and their thoughts on if there is a better budgeting mechanism than the one currently in place.  Commenters must provide specific, measurable data that shows the Category Two services they purchased with their E-rate budgets, and the Category Two services purchased without E-rate support, so the Bureau can use in its analysis.

The notice also invites commenters to provide feedback on their experiences with the E-rate program more generally, including their experiences with the E-rate Productivity Center (“EPC”) system.