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Monday, March 25, 2013


OK, the window is closed, time to take a look at the new forms the FCC is releasing, and has requested comments on.  I think I'll just look at the changes listed in the press release, rather than poring through the actual documents.  Here are the changes listed, and my take on them:
  • Requiring the FCC Forms ... to be certified under penalty of perjury:  Oh, good plan.  Everyone who clicks submit on one of those forms is already jittery about the rules.  Throw the word "perjury" in there, and people will just be lining up to risk jail time to get their school a few thousand dollars.  Remember back in 2005 when BearingPoint made its initial report to the USAC board about their site visits, and reported that the E-Rate generated more fear than other grant programs?  Let's jack the fear index a little more.  Because that fear drives applicants into the arms of consultants, and my kids' tuition just keeps going up, so I need more customers.
  • Modifying the existing certifications in FCC Forms 472 and 473 regarding recordkeeping:  Fine, but I have a feeling that the form will just talk about complying with section 54.516, rather than mentioning what the requirements actually are.
  • Adding certifications to the FCC Forms 472 and 474 regarding overall compliance with the E-rate program rules:  Hey, how about first you tell us what the rules are?  In addition to six Report & Orders, dozens of appeal decisions, some with rules tucked into footnotes and the 700 pages of secret rules, the FCC has treated old USAC Web pages and even slides from old USAC presentations as rules.  First, let's have a complete rule book, as SECA suggested.  Then we'll promise to follow the rules.
  • Adding certifications to the FCC Form 473 regarding the cost allocation of eligible and ineligible services, the payment of the non-discount share, the prohibition of gifts as defined by Federal statute and regulations, compliance with the lowest corresponding price requirement, compliance with state and local competitive bidding rules, verification of suspension or debarment, and overall compliance with the E-rate program rules:  Yeah, yeah, OK, of course you want to reinforce compliance with all those rules, but do we need to...Wait.  Did that list include lowest corresponding price?!  Has the service provider community noticed that little bombshell tucked in among the blather?  They're still waiting on a response to their request that the LCP regulations be gutted.  Which makes this little addition to the Form 473 seem like a poke in the ribs.  And the perjury certification makes it a poke with a pointed stick.
Let's boil down the changes further.  In their simplest form, the changes are:
  • More certifications
  • More certifications
  • More certifications
  • More certifications
I think I see a pattern.


  1. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Contrary to what seems to be suggested here, more certification should have existed from the start to guarantee compliance. Provider's are well aware and and all of their stooges are filing comments for the LCP ruling and E-Rate form revisions. Stop buying into the confusion injected by those raping and pillaging our schools and libraries and champion the causes that will eliminate fraud, waste and abuse. Rockefeller's staged ignorance is laughable. LET'S PUT FRESH BLOOD IN THE FCC and USAC that understands the solutions and would actually fix them within one term of service. The best people to clean up the mess have already been revealed and oddly enough, they are the very same industry consultants battling the corruption every day. Give them some teeth and watch all reasonable technology needs under E-Rate enjoy funding of ALL eligible services.

  2. Anonymous11:02 AM

    The truth is that providers accountability for full E-Rate compliance is established during the process of obtaining a SPID. LCP has been clarified, re-clarified, re-re-re-re-re-re-clarified since 1996. Whoever is still having problems understanding this from a provider or government perspective is lying. When did we all become so dumb as to allow "fork-tongue" rhetoric? When did it become so hard to perform a brief investigation and solve simple math equations? Ironic that the issue here is schools and libraries however, beneath the surface it is something far more sinister. Unfortunately, the larger picture is that the problem has become that too many that "are aware" of exactly what is going on and could add their voice of objection to fraud, sit silent because they either have some vested interest in the fraud itself or simple cowardice.

    “Cowardice is impotence worse than violence. The coward desires revenge but being afraid to die, he looks to others, maybe to the government of the day, to do the work of defense for him. A coward is less than a man. He does not deserve to be a member of a society of men and women.” - Mahatma Ghandi