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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Where is that 7R&/EMO?  The E-Rate 2.0 release date is slipping.  That's what they get for trying to add and remove features after beta (the RFC in March).  Some of those feature changes are going to cause problems:
  1. The five-year C2 budget was a fine idea, but it's going to hamstring competition if changes aren't made.  
  2. Wimping out on the reduction to the top discount level creates a good deal of complexity without saving much money, or changing the perverse incentives.  
  3. Phasing out phone service by cutting the discount level was not the simplest or fairest way to go about it (it triples costs for 90% applicants, and reduces funding for 20% applicants to zero).
  4. Sunsetting the per-student funding cap after 2 years really complicates the calculation for applicants: do I take the $150/student bird in the hand, or wait 2 years for the uncapped funding bird in the bush?
Maybe we would have been better off if the Commission had just released a bunch of patches to the program.  Because what we ended up with doesn't really deserve the title E-Rate 2.0  More like E-Rate 1.2.7.  Or maybe we should give the new release a name: Vista maybe?  Or how about Edsel?

1 comment:

  1. I was just thinking that instead of using a version name like E-Rate Vista, we should just use the year and call it E-Rate 2014. But that would just go to show the complexity of this program, because people familiar with the program would right away ask "What do you mean by 2014?" The reforms were enacted in 2014 based on an NPRM from 2013, but the rules generally apply to FY2015 and later, if FY means "Funding Year," but if FY stands for "Fiscal Year," then we're talking about FY 2016 (fiscal years being identified by the year in which they end).

    I feel like Slick Willy: it depends on what your definition of "2014" is.