Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

News from DC

Yesterday I went to the E-Rate panel at the CoSN conference. There were four panelists. I didn't get anything out of the presentations by the Congressional or FCC staffers, and the panelist from a school district was, by her own admission, preaching to the choir about how great E-Rate is. But Mel Blackwell, the head of SLD, said several really interesting things. (Well, really interesting for E-Rate geeks, anyway.)

1) Fewer than 1500 471s for 2005-2006 remain unprocessed.

2) Over 2,000 471s for 2006-2007 have already been processed.

3) USAC has requested approval from the FCC to fund Priority Two applications for applicants with discounts of 85% and higher, and approval to deny all applicants at 76% or below. Mel seemed to think that the FCC would respond soon. Once that comes through, we should see a large wave of Priority Two decisions.

4) He hopes to have the BEAR and SPAC forms online for 06-07.

5) The average time for appeal decisions by USAC is down to 60 days, and Mel is committed to brining it lower.

6) I saved the best for last: the FCC has already approved the application processing procedures for 2006-2007. Given that there are 2,000 apps already processed, a wave in the month of March seems possible. So although the delayed Katrina deadline means Priority Two funding is hung up until October or so, at least we'll get Priority One approvals in a timely matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment