FCC Releases New Category Two Rules

Exciting news on the Category Two front! The highly anticipated Order brings a constant to the E-Rate program! 

FY 2020

Funding Year 2020 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) will be a ‘bridge year’ for Category Two funding by extending the ‘test period’ rules from FY 2015 – FY 2019 through FY 2020. Meaning, the funding that is left over from your previous 5 year budget will still be available to utilize for this upcoming year.

  • An additional 20% of your five-year budget is added to your available budget, on top of your remaining budget from this five-year cycle (FY 2015 – FY 2019)
  • The same eligible services will remain in effect during this funding year. Click here for the ESL
  • The same per-site budget rules remain in effect during this funding year
  • All Category two budgets will expire at the end of FY 2020 and will not carry over to FY 2021

Now is the time to utilize your remaining budget, including the additional 20% that has been added since it is the last year of the current funding cycle!

 

FY 2021 and BEYOND – C2 IS PERMANENTLY AVAILABLE 

The Order adds a permanent 5-year budget system and an increased budget for all E-Rate applicants starting Funding Year 2021 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022).

  • The new 5-year fixed budgets begin starting with FY 2021
  • This new 5-year budget cycle will reset every 5 years, with no rollover of funding from cycle-cycle (First cycle: FY 2021 – FY 2025)
  • The budgets will be calculated on a district- wide and library system-wide basis, no longer on a per-school or per-library basis
  • Budgets are calculated at a pre-discount price of $167 per-student for schools and $4.50 per sq. ft. for libraries
  • The per-site funding floor is now increased from $9,200 to $25,000.
  • The final list of eligible services will be released at least 60 days prior to the opening of the application filing window for the following funding year

These permanent changes to Category Two funding not only allow more secure funding opportunities, but they also allow applicants the flexibility to determine how to allocate their funds, ensuring a more effective use of their E-Rate funding.

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