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Thursday, November 13, 2014

BMIC only temporary

Every time I read the E-Rate Modernization Order (EMO), I see something else I hadn't noticed, and that I haven't seen anyone else point out.  Today I noticed that the last sentence of paragraph 131 says: "Absent Commission action, in funding year 2017 and in subsequent funding years, support for basic maintenance, managed internal broadband services, and caching functionality, as an internal connection, will be available only to those applicants that received support in funding years 2015 and 2016 and are operating under a five-year applicant budget."

OK, sure, we all expect that FCC to take action.  And it's not shocking that caching and MIBS are temporary.  But I had not noticed that Basic Maintenance (BMIC) was on the chopping block.  And really, I think it's likely the FCC will not take action to preserve the eligibility of BMIC.  That's fine with me.  As I've said before: "Basic Maintenance is just a headache and a great place to run small scams.  No one understands the rules.  Approvals always come too late.  Wash it all down the drain."

Did you notice the possible incentive for schools to get some C2 funding in FY 2015 or 2016?  If you get C2 funding in FY 2015 or 2016, then BMIC, MIBS and caching remain eligible for you, even if they become ineligible for everyone else.  Of course, if the FCC takes no action, there won't be any funding available for C2 after FY 2016, but still.

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