DA 14-1177
Released: August 12, 2014

WC Docket No. 13-184

On July 11, 2014, the Commission adopted the E-rate Modernization Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism, known as the E-rate program.[1] Using comments and data submitted to the record, the Order takes major steps to modernize and streamline the E-rate program, working to expand access to funding for Wi-Fi networks and transitioning support away from legacy, non-broadband technologies.[2] In the Further Notice, the Commission invited additional comment and further data from stakeholders on a number of discrete issues, including the short- and long-term funding needs for the program.[3] In particular, it invited further data on connectivity and pricing for services to and within schools and libraries.[4]

With this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) releases two items designed to provide a concise view of a portion of the large amount of data in the E-rate Modernization proceeding. This is consistent with the Commission’s efforts in this proceeding to provide open, user-friendly data to all parties.[5]

First, the Bureau releases a staff report jointly authored by the Bureau and the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis that seeks to assist parties in navigating the large and data-intensive record in the E-rate Modernization docket as they consider making comments in response to the Further Notice. The staff report summarizes the impact of the changes made to funding of internal connections in the E-rate Modernization Order, presents analysis on fiber connectivity and pricing for schools and libraries, and examines the short- and long-term impacts of phasing down non-broadband services. It is available at http://www.fcc.gov/e-rate-update. Datasets that were used in preparing the staff report are available on the E-rate Modernization data webpage at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/e-rate-modernization-data.

Second, the Bureau publishes two maps on the Commission’s website that provide a geographic representation of the data submitted in the E-rate Modernization proceeding regarding fiber connectivity to public schools and libraries. These maps are available at www.fcc.gov/maps/E-rate-fiber-map. The interactive fiber maps each have a mouseover feature that also allows users to view the percentage of public schools with fiber connectivity at the district-wide level and the number of annual visits to the library system.

These two fiber maps were created using publicly available data, including data submitted to the E-rate Modernization docket, representing about half of the nation’s public schools and about two-thirds of the nation’s libraries.[6] States, districts, schools, libraries, or any other party seeking to assist the Commission in developing a complete record are invited to provide additional connectivity data in comments to the Further Notice or by emailing SchoolFiberMap@fcc.gov or LibraryFiberMap@fcc.gov. Those e-mailed comments will be used to periodically update the maps that are posted on the website(s) identified above. Those comments also will be included in the public record for WC Docket Number 13-184, and all information submitted, including names and e-mail and street addresses, will be publicly available via the web.

In addition to the websites listed herein, E-rate Modernization documents in WC Docket No. 13-184, including the staff report, are available for public inspection and copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St. SW, Room CY A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. The documents may also be purchased from BCPI, telephone (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, email fcc@bcpiweb.com.

Stakeholders may review these materials as they consider responses to the Further Notice and submit additional data related to their own states.[7] Comments in response to the Further Notice are due on September 15, 2014, and reply comments are due on September 30, 2014.

Additional information about the E-rate Modernization proceeding can be found on the Commission’s E-rate webpage at http://www.fcc.gov/e-rate-update. Specific questions about the data may be sent to E-rateDataTeam@fcc.gov. For additional information about this Public Notice, please contact Kate Dumouchel at (202) 418-1839 or kate.dumouchel@fcc.gov of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division.

– FCC –

[1] Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries, WC Docket No. 13-184, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14-99 (rel. July 23, 2014) (E-Rate Modernization Order or Further Notice).

[2] E-rate Modernization Order, FCC 14-99, section IV.B.

[3] Id. at section VIII.

[4] Id., at para. 269.

[5] See E-rate Modernization Order, FCC 14-99, section VI.F.3.

[6] See Federal Communications Commission, E-Rate Modernization Data, http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/e-rate-modernization-data (providing the full school-by-school and library-by-library datasets under the link labeled “White Paper Direct Access to Broadband Connectivity Datasets”).

[7] We note that neither the staff report nor the fiber maps represent formal agency action in the E-rate Modernization proceeding or otherwise.

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