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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

I didn't see this coming so quickly.  Just a day after SHLB requested it, the FCC has waived its gift rules.  Hoo boy!  Will this be the year when I can finally accept a bottle of scotch from each potential vendor, the way I hear they do over in the private sector?  [Not that I would ever do such a thing.  I couldn't take gifts from service providers while taking money from applicants; FCC rules aside, it wouldn't be right.  Also, I don't like scotch.]

But the FCC's not allowing it anyway: "We waive the E-Rate program gift rules  to enable service providers to offer, and E-Rate eligible schools and libraries to solicit or accept, broadband connections, devices networking equipment, or other things of value that could help students, teachers, and patrons affected by school and library closures during the coronavirus pandemic."  While I could argue that scotch fits into "other things of value" and that it would help teachers trying to figure out virtual classroom management on the fly, I wouldn't like my chances in a PQA.

But hey, at least we'll have common-sense rules through September 30, 2020.  Until then, applicants won't have to put a dollar figure on an item that's free and then add that hypothetical cost to the price of the bid when comparing prices.

Let's hope we see quick action on all the requests in SHLB's letter.  Commissioner Rosenworcel certainly favors more action.

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