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Monday, July 14, 2008

Training dates announced

I've got to think that anyone reading this blog has got to know already that USAC has announced the fall training dates. In case you haven't, check out the details here.

And they're off! Last year, the DC training filled up in under a week. I keep thinking that demand for training will slack eventually, but I guess no one in their right mind does the E-Rate for more than a year or two. (As I've mentioned, eSchoolNews did a survey this year and found "Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents said they've been managing the E-rate process for three years or less--and 19 percent said it was their first year doing this.") So the need for training will never end.

I briefly considered registering for the Newark training instead of making the pilgrimage to the E-Rate holy city, but I just have to be there for opening night of Johnny and the COMADs. There had better be plenty of skits with costumes and all.

Here's a game we can all play at the training: "Spot the new FCC rule." In a recent appeal case, the FCC actually cited a slide in the 2001 training as if it were a rule. So I say we get a pool to guess which slide will be the first cited in an FCC ruling.

While we're betting, let's get a pool on the date of the release of the Eligible Services List for 2009-2010, and the number of days the FCC will have to shave off it's own requirement to wait 60 days between releasing the ESL and opening the application window.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

High-cost cap

It's finally official: the FCC has put a cap on the the High Cost Fund of the USF. I blogged about it when the cap was first recommended by the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service back in November. Basically, the FCC has imposed an emergency interim cap on the High Cost Program (which was ballooning out of control). The cap is state-by-state, and is whatever funding was going to that state in March 2008.

Anyone want to start a pool on how long this "interim" cap will last? Just guess the millenium when you think it will expire.

How does it affect the E-Rate? I'm no political expert, but it seems to me that if the cost of the High Cost Program had kept surging, it would have kept pulling Congress' attention back to the USF, with an eye to reducing the cost. So I suppose there was a chance the FCC would have been forced to rob Peter (the E-Rate) to pay Paul (the High Cost Fund).