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Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Errors

It was the best of orders, it was the worst of orders.

Let's start with the name. The best of names: the "E-Rate Correction Deadline Order." Excellent! The FCC's setting a deadline to correct this mess. Wait a minute, it's spelled "Erate Correction." "Erate"?! Not capitalizing the "R" is wrong, but dropping the hyphen is a sin.

The order itself starts out the best of orders: USAC is instructed to allow corrections until the FCDL is issued, even it that's longer than 15 days. Bishop Perry Everlasting! Excellent!

Or is it the worst of orders? The FCC makes it clear that the extended response time is only for "truly ministerial and clerical errors." Uh oh. "Such errors include only the kinds of errors that a typist might make when entering data from one list to another, such as mistyping a number, using the wrong name or phone number, failing to enter an item from the source list onto the application, or making an arithmetic error." Did Bishop Perry just get gutted? Up to this point, USAC has been letting applicants correct errors without paying too much attention to the meaning of "ministerial." I'm afraid that this order is going to make them pay attention to whether the error is "truly" clerical.

But at least the FCC now has extended time to correct the spelling of "E-Rate" in the name of this order.

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