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Released: November 6, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1771

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC 20554

In the Matter of )

)
Requests for Review and/or Requests for
)
Waiver of the Decisions of the
)
Universal Service Administrator by
)
)
Administrative Headquarters
)
File Nos. SLD-478729, et al.
New York, New York, et al.
)

)
Schools and Libraries Universal Service
)
CC Docket No. 02-6
Support Mechanism
)

ORDER

Adopted: November 6, 2012

Released: November 6, 2012

By the Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau:
1.
Consistent with precedent,1 we grant seven requests and deny one request2 seeking
review of decisions made by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the E-rate
program (more formally known as the schools and libraries universal service support program).3 In each
case, USAC denied or rescinded funding on the basis that the petitioners violated the Commission’s rule
that a signed contract be in place when the FCC Form 471 application is submitted.4
2.
Based on our review of the record, we find that the five appeals listed in Appendix A
have demonstrated that good cause exists to justify waiver of the rule that a signed contract be in place
when the FCC Form 471 application is submitted.5 Although the record demonstrates that the petitioners


1 See Request for Waiver of the Decision of the Universal Service Administrator by Barberton City School District,
et al., Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism,
File Nos. SLD-400938, et al., CC Docket No.
02-6, 23 FCC Rcd 15526 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2008) (Barberton Order); Requests for Review and/or Requests for
Waiver of the Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by Animas School District 6, et al., Schools and
Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism,
File Nos. SLD-427902, et al., CC Docket No. 02-6, 26 FCC Rcd
16903 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2011); Request for Review and/or Requests for Waiver of the Decisions of the
Universal Service Administrator by Al Noor High School, et al., Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support
Mechanism,
File Nos. SLD-529343, et al., CC Docket No. 02-6, 27 FCC Rcd 8223 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012) (all
granting appeals either on the basis that petitioners did have signed contracts before filing their FCC Forms 471 or
on the basis that petitioners had agreements in place with their service providers before filing their Forms 471, even
though the contracts in question had minor errors or were not signed and dated by both parties before the petitioners
filed their FCC Form 471).
2 The requests for review and/or waiver are listed in Appendices A-C.
3 Section 54.719(c) of the Commission’s rules provides that any person aggrieved by an action taken by a division of
USAC may seek review from the Commission. 47 C.F.R. § 54.719(c).
4 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(a) (2011) (before 2011, the citation for this rule was 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(c)).
5 See Appendix A.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1771

identified in Appendix A had contracts that contained minor errors or were not signed and dated by both
parties before the petitioners filed their FCC Form 471 applications, all five petitioners had a legally
binding agreement in place during the relevant funding year prior to the filing of their FCC Form 471
applications. We therefore waive the Commission’s rule that requires applicants to have a signed contract
before filing an FCC Form 471 for those five petitioners.6 We also grant the two appeals identified in
Appendix B because the petitioners that filed those appeals demonstrated that they had signed contracts in
place that complied with the Commission’s rules and procedures when submitting their FCC Form 471
applications.7 We deny the appeal identified in Appendix C because the petitioner that filed that appeal
has not demonstrated that it had either a signed contract or a legally binding agreement in place when it
submitted its FCC Form 471 application.
3.
With respect to the appeals we grant in this Order, on our own motion, we waive section
54.507(d) of the Commission’s rules and direct USAC to waive any procedural deadline, such as the
invoicing deadline, that might be necessary to effectuate our ruling.8 We find good cause to waive
section 54.507(d) because filing an appeal of a denial is likely to cause the applicant to miss the
program’s subsequent procedural deadlines in that funding year. We also find that at this time there is no
evidence of waste, fraud and abuse in the record. We also waive section 54.720 of the Commission’s
rules, which requires applicants to seek review of a USAC decision within 60 days, for four applicants
because we find that they submitted their appeals to the Commission or USAC within a reasonable
amount of time.9
4.
We therefore remand the underlying applications listed in Appendices A and B to USAC
for further action consistent with this order. To ensure that the underlying applications are resolved
expeditiously, we direct USAC to complete its review of each application listed in Appendix A and issue
an award or denial based upon a complete review and analysis no later than 90 calendar days from the
release of this order. In remanding these applications to USAC, we make no finding as to the ultimate
eligibility of the services or the underlying applications. We direct USAC to discontinue recovery actions
against the petitioners with respect to the applications identified in Appendix B.
5.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-4
and 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-154 and 254, and pursuant to


6 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(a); Appendix A.
7 See Appendix B.
8 47 C.F.R. § 54.507(d) (requiring non-recurring services to be implemented by September 30 following the close of
the funding year). Generally, the Commission’s rules may be waived if good cause is shown. 47 C.F.R. § 1.3. The
Commission may exercise its discretion to waive a rule where the particular facts make strict compliance
inconsistent with the public interest. Northeast Cellular Telephone Co. v. FCC, 897 F.2d 1164, 1166 (D.C. Cir.
1990) (Northeast Cellular). In addition, the Commission may take into account considerations of hardship, equity,
or more effective implementation of overall policy on an individual basis. WAIT Radio v. FCC, 418 F.2d 1153,
1159 (D.C. Cir. 1969); Northeast Cellular, 897 F.2d at 1166. Waiver of the Commission’s rules is appropriate only
if both (i) special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule, and (ii) such deviation will serve the
public interest. NetworkIP, LLC v. FCC, 548 F.3d 116, 125-128 (D.C. Cir. 2008); Northeast Cellular, 897 F.2d at
1166.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.720; Requests for Review and/or Waiver of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by
ABC Unified School District, et al., Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism,
File Nos. SLD-
584091, et al., CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 26 FCC Rcd 11019 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2011) (granting petitioners
waivers of filing deadline for appeals because they submitted their appeals to the Commission within a reasonable
period of time after receiving actual notice of USAC's adverse decision). Administrative Headquarters, Douglas-
Omaha Technology Commission, San Rafael City School District, and Westwood Community School District each
filed its appeal no more than nine days late.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1771

authority delegated in sections 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, and 54.722(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§
0.91, 0.291, 1.3, and 54.722(a), that the Requests for Review and/or Requests for Waiver filed by the
petitioners as listed in Appendices A and B ARE GRANTED and REMANDED to USAC for further
consideration in accordance with the terms of this order.
6.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-4 and 254
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-154 and 254, and sections 0.91,
0.291, and 54.722(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91, 0.291, and 54.722(a), that the Request
for Review filed by the petitioner listed in Appendix C IS DENIED.
7.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-4 and 254
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-154 and 254, and sections 0.91,
0.291, and 1.3 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91, 0.291, and 1.3, that section 54.720(a) of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 54.720(a), IS WAIVED for Administrative Headquarters, Douglas-
Omaha Technology Commission, San Rafael City School District, and Westwood Community School
District.
8.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-4 and 254
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-154 and 254, and pursuant to
authority delegated in sections 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, and 54.722(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§
0.91, 0.291, 1.3, and 54.722(a), that sections 54.504(a) and 54.507(d) of the Commission’s rules, 47
C.F.R. §§ 54.504(a) and 54.507(d) ARE WAIVED for the petitioners listed in Appendix A to the limited
extent provided herein.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Trent B. Harkrader
Chief
Telecommunications Access Policy Division
Wireline Competition Bureau
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1771

APPENDIX A

Petitioners Granted Waivers

Petitioner

Application Funding Date Appeal
Number(s)

Year

Filed

Administrative Headquarters
478729
2005
Oct. 10, 2006
New York, NY
Douglas-Omaha Technology Commission
474677
2005
Jul. 18, 2006
Omaha, Nebraska
Euclid City School District
784661,
2011
Aug. 1, 2012
Euclid, Ohio
801252
San Rafael City School District
406438,
2004
Jun. 13, 2005
San Rafael, California
406457,
406459,
406585,
406594,
406605,
406611
Westwood Community School District
425528
2004
Oct. 5, 2005
Dearborn Heights, Michigan

APPENDIX B

Petitioners’ Appeals Granted on the Merits

Petitioner

Application Number

Funding Year

Date Appeal Filed

Alamogordo Public
581531, 613214, 659321, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Sept. 27, 2012
School District
735508
Alamogordo, New
Mexico
Trillion Partners, Inc.
581531, 613214, 659321, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
October 2, 2012
(Alamogordo Public
735508
School District)
Alamogordo, New
Mexico

APPENDIX C

Petitioner’s Appeal Denied

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Appeal

Number

Year

Filed

West Branch Area School District
533153
2006
Jun. 12, 2007
Morrisdale, Pennsylvania
4

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