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Sunday, March 09, 2014


I was just sitting here thinking on a sunny Sunday, and it occurred to me: why doesn't the FCC scrap the prorating rule?  I checked the big NPRM from the summer, and I couldn't find any mention of prorating funding within bands.

They really should scrap the rule, because they violate it every year.  47 C.F.R. 54.507(g)(iv) says that when the money runs out, USAC should take whatever's left and distribute it on a pro-rata basis.  Every year, USAC has not provided any funding to a discount level it couldn't fully fund.  Applicants at the 80-89% discount levels have grown accustomed to it.

But this year even 90% applicants got nothing, and they are complaining.  And if you look at the rules, they have a right to complain; according to the rules, USAC should have taken the $200 million currently unused in the 2013-2014 pot and doled it out to the 90% applicants on a pro-rata basis.  Of course, they would have only gotten something like 12% of their request, but rules are rules.

So if you're going to ignore the rules every year, maybe you should change the rules.

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