E-rate Category Two Budget Order Released


The Federal Communications Commission has released the long-awaited Category Two Budget Order making the budget mechanism permanent starting with the 2021 Funding Year.  In 2014, as part of the E-rate Modernization Order, the Commission established a new budget approach for Category Two services, adopting a five-year, pre-discount budget for applicants requesting equipment identified as Category Two services.  Under the existing budget rules, applicants are eligible for discounts on a per-student basis (for schools) and per square foot basis (for libraries).

For the upcoming 2020 Funding Year, the Commission extended the existing five-year Category Two Budget test period for an additional year through 2020 and provided a prorated portion of funding for each applicant for the additional year.  Beginning in Funding Year 2021, the five-year budget approach will be permanent and revised to include enhancements such as district-wide/library system-wide budgets, an increased funding floor and the ability to transfer equipment between district/system buildings without prior notification to USAC.  The Commission also made managed internal broadband service, caching and basic maintenance of internal connections permanently eligible as Category Two services.




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Rebecca has a diverse communications law practice, guiding clients in media law, Internet, telecom, cable, broadcast and privacy/data protection matters. She counsels communications industry clients in negotiating contracts and complex business transactions, as well as helping them resolve disputes and regulatory challenges. Her clients include cable operators, broadband service providers, video programmers, network operators, spectrum owners, radio broadcasters and telecommunications companies. Rebecca has extensive experience in E-Rate (Universal Service Administration Company Schools and Libraries Program) and Cable Compulsory License matters. She also guides businesses in Telephone Consumer Protection Act issues, as well as pole attachments, and program carriage issues and the negotiation of fiber leases and indefeasible rights of use (“IRU”). In addition, Rebecca works with Womble Bond Dickinson’s Privacy and Data Protection Team to help clients protect confidential information, including trade secrets, customer data and company records.