FCC Encourages Tribal Applicant Participation in E-Rate Program

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The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on ways to encourage eligible Tribal applicants to participate in the E-Rate program, which provides high-speed Internet to schools and libraries.  The Commission is specifically seeking comment on: (1) modifying E-Rate forms and cost-allocation requirements; (2) providing Tribal applicants with a competitive bidding exemption for low-cost services and equipment; (3) increasing the maximum discount rate for Category Two services, which includes internal connections needed for broadband connectivity in schools, for Tribal applicants; (4) increasing the Category Two $25,000 funding floor for Tribal applicants; (5) allowing Tribal college libraries to serve as Tribal community public libraries for E-Rate support; (6) providing an extended or separate application filing window for Tribal libraries; and (7) adding a Tribal representative to the Universal Service Administrative Company’s Board of Directors. 

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