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Atlantic City Schools, Atlantic City, New Jersey et al.

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Released: July 30, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-1083

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC 20554

In the Matter of

)

)

Requests for Waiver and Review of

)

Decisions of the

)

Universal Service Administrator by

)

)

Atlantic City Schools

)

File Nos. SLD-844248 et al.

Atlantic City, New Jersey et al.

)

)

Schools and Libraries Universal Service

)

CC Docket No. 02-6

Support Mechanism

)

ORDER

Adopted: July 30, 2014

Released: July 30, 2014

By the Acting Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau:

1.

Consistent with precedent,1 we grant six requests from petitioners2 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

Based on our

review of the record, we find that USAC denied the petitioners identified in the Appendix their requested

discount rates for E-rate funding without providing the petitioners sufficient opportunity to provide

evidence to support their eligibility for the discount rates they requested. We therefore grant the requests

for review identified in the Appendix and remand them back to USAC for further processing.4

On

remand, we further direct USAC to provide petitioners with a 15-day opportunity to file additional

documentation to support their calculations of the correct discount rates. Also, consistent with

precedent,5 we direct USAC to accept information already provided to USAC by some of the petitioners,

which USAC had deemed late.6

1 See Requests for Review of the Decision of the Universal Service Administrator by Academia Claret, Puerto Rico

et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 21 FCC Rcd

10703 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2006) (Academia Claret Order); Requests for Waiver and Review of Decisions of the

Universal Service Administrator by Aberdeen School District 5 et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service

Support Mechanism , CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 2152 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012) (Aberdeen

Discount Order); Requests for Waiver and Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by Bright

Star Schools Consortium, Los Angeles, California et al., CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 28 FCC Rcd 11204 (Wireline

Comp. Bur. 2013) (Bright Star Discount Order).

2 The requests for waiver and review are listed in the Appendix.

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 Appendix.

5 See Academia Claret Order, 21 FCC Rcd at 10709, para. 14; Aberdeen Discount Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 2152,

para. 1; Bright Star Discount Order, 28 FCC Rcd 11204, para. 1.

6 Cuba Independent School District and Shonto Preparatory School submitted discount documentation to USAC

after USAC’s filing deadline for discount rate-related documentation. See Appendix.

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-1083

2.

On our own motion, we also waive section 54.507(d) of the Commission’s rules and any

USAC procedural deadlines, such as the invoicing deadline, that might be necessary to effectuate our

ruling.7

We find good cause to waive section 54.507(d) because filing an appeal of a denial is likely to

cause petitioners to miss the program’s subsequent procedural deadlines in that funding year.

3.

Accordingly, we remand the underlying applications listed in the Appendix 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 the Appendix and issue

an award or a denial based on a complete review and analysis no later than 90 calendar days from the

receipt of the requested information. In remanding these applications to USAC, we make no finding as to

the ultimate eligibility of the services or as to the petitioners’ applications.

4.

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 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 or requests for waiver filed by the petitioners listed in the Appendix ARE

GRANTED and their underlying applications ARE REMANDED to USAC for further consideration in

accordance with the terms of this Order.

5.

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, 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

section 54.507(d) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 54.507(d), IS WAIVED for the petitioners

listed in the Appendix to the limited extent provided herein.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Vickie S. Robinson

Acting Chief

Telecommunications Access Policy Division

Wireline Competition Bureau

7 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. Northeast Cellular, 897 F.2d at 1166.

2

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-1083

APPENDIX

Appeals Granted and Remanded for Limited Opportunity to Provide Supporting Documentation

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Request for

Number

Year

Review Filed

Atlantic City Schools

844248

2012

July 30, 2013

Atlantic City, NJ

Bnos Esther

931165

2013

April 28, 2014

Los Angeles, CA

Bright Star Schools Consortium

844391

2012

May 13, 2013

Los Angeles, CA

Cuba Independent School District

836166, 859494

2013

July 23, 2013

Cuba, NM

Global Green Generation School

817924

2011

April 14, 2014

Pacoima, CA

Shonto Preparatory Schools

862440

2012

April 1, 2013

Shonto, AZ

3

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