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Monday, December 10, 2007

It's official: 2-in-5 Rule has failed. Again.

USAC has just announced that in the next wave of funding, they will begin to deny all 80% Priority Two requests. Applicants at 81% and 82% are still on the bubble.

I'm surprised it didn't get down into the seventies, and since I'm a pessimist, I think most people are surprised. Even Mel Blackwell was prognosticating a much lower denial threshold back during the September trainings.

Take a look at the graph. Notice the trend? And it gets even worse when you consider that this year, we had a huge unjust rollover, larger than the 2003 rollover that drove the discount level to 70% (and would have driven it lower if the FCC hadn't blindsided USAC with the rollover after everyone below 70% had already been denied).

There are lots of viewpoints on the fairest way to distribute Priority Two funding, but one thing is certain: the FCC's "2-in-5 Rule" has failed utterly in the goal stated in the Third Report and Order: "funds will be made available to more eligible schools and libraries on a regular basis." The 2-in-5 Rule creates many problems, and fails to solve any problems, so it's time to throw it over the side.

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