Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Beaufort County School District et al.

Download Options

Released: March 24, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-401

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Requests for Review of
)
Decisions of the
)
Universal Service Administrator by
)
)
Beaufort County School District
)
File Nos. SLD-507686 et al.
Beaufort, South Carolina et al.
)
)
Schools and Libraries Universal Service
)
CC Docket No. 02-6
Support Mechanism
)

ORDER

Adopted: March 24, 2014

Released: March 24, 2014

By the Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau:
1.
Consistent with precedent,1 we grant four requests from petitioners2 seeking review of
service substitution requests denied 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
2.
In each case, the applicants have demonstrated that their requests met the Commission’s
requirements for service substitution.4 In all four instances, the substituted service or product had the
same functionality as the original service or product; there was no violation of any contract provision or
state or local procurement laws; there would have been no increase in the percentage of ineligible services
or functions; and the applicants signed the required certifications.5

1 Requests for Waiver of Sections 54.504(c), 54.504(f), 54.507(c), and 54.507(g) of the Commission’s Rules, State of
Louisiana Department of Education et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket
No. 02-6, Order, 25 FCC Rcd 1653 (2010) (granting service substitution requests meeting the regulatory
requirements for service substitutions); Requests for Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by
Alton Community Unit School District 11; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket
No. 02-6, Order, 25 FCC Rcd 7089 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2010) (granting appeals when the appellant missed a
USAC procedural deadline but did not violate a Commission rule).
2 The requests for 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 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(f) (2005 through 2010). Requests for substituted service from the service identified in the
FCC Form 471 must be granted when: (1) the service or product has the same functionality as the original service or
product, (2) the substitution does not violate any contract provisions or state or local procurement laws, (3) the
substitution does not result in an increase in the percentage of ineligible services or functions and (4) the applicant
certifies that the requested change is within the scope of the controlling FCC Form 470. The service substitution
rule was moved to 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(d) in 2011.
5 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.504(f) (2005 through 2010).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-401
3.
We direct USAC to process the service substitution requests and to waive any procedural
rules necessary to effectuate this ruling, including the deadline for service substitution requests for all four
petitioners. In so doing, we recognize that USAC rejected service substitution requests for the Beaufort
County School District, Las Cruces Public Schools, and Erie 1 BOCES because they violated USAC’s
deadline for filing service substitution requests. In this case, each of the applicants had a reasonable
explanation for the delay in requesting a service substitution, and promptly filed a service substitution
request with USAC upon its discovery of the need to do so.6 We therefore find that a complete rejection
of the requests is not warranted under the circumstances.
4.
Likewise, we find that the record supports a decision to direct USAC to grant the appeal
of Core BTS, Inc. (Berkshire Union Free School District) and allow the applicant to amend its service
substitution request. The school district inadvertently misidentified the quantity of equipment to be
substituted for in its original service substitution request. After USAC granted the request, Core BTS,
Inc. filed an appeal informing USAC of its mistake and requesting its intended service substitution.7
USAC dismissed this appeal as moot since it had already granted the school district’s previous request.8
We find that the applicant’s error does not warrant a complete rejection of its intended request.
5.
At this time, we find no evidence of waste, fraud or abuse in the record with respect to
any of the petitions for which we grant relief. We therefore remand the petitioners’ underlying
applications to USAC for further action consistent with this Order. We direct USAC to complete its
review of each application listed in the appendix and issue an award based on a complete review and
analysis no later than 90 calendar days from the release date of this Order.
6.
Lastly, on our own motion, we waive section 54.507(d) of the Commission’s rules9 We
find good cause to waive section 54.507(d) because filing an appeal of a denial is likely to cause the
petitioners to miss the program’s subsequent procedural deadlines in that funding year.
7.
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.

6 Each of the three petitioners failed to timely file a service substitution request. According to USAC procedures, a
service substitution request must be received or postmarked by the last day to receive service for that funding
request number. In general, the last day to receive service is June 30 of the relevant funding year for recurring
services or September 30 that follows the close of the funding year for non-recurring services. See USAC Website,
Service Substitutions, available at http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/before-youre-done/service-substitutions.aspx
(last visited Mar. 18, 2014). Beaufort County School District filed its request 24 days late when the E-rate manager
on the project discovered that there was a substitution related to the project; Erie 1 BOCES filed its service
substitution late because it was under the impression that it needed its funding commitment decision letter (FCDL)
before filing and the FCDL arrived 10 months after the close of the funding year; Las Cruces Public Schools said it
waited until it had all the information on of the non-recurring charges before submitting its service substitution,
which resulted in an untimely request.
7 Letter from Jaime McGowan, Corporate Comptroller, Core BTS, Inc., to USAC, Schools and Libraries Division
(dated Sept. 4, 2008) (Core BTS Appeal to USAC).
8 Letter from USAC, Schools and Libraries Division, to Jaime McGowan, Corporate Comptroller, Core BTS, Inc.,
(dated Oct. 14, 2008) (Administrator’s Decision on Appeal).
9 47 C.F.R. § 54.507(d) (2005 through 2010) (requiring non-recurring services to be implemented by September 30
following the close of the funding year).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-401
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 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
Kimberly A. Scardino
Chief
Telecommunications Access Policy Division
Wireline Competition Bureau
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-401

APPENDIX

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Request for

Number(s)

Year

Review/Waiver

Filed

Beaufort County School District
507686
2006
Apr. 9, 2009
Beaufort, South Carolina
Core BTS, Inc. (Berkshire Union
586771
2006
Apr. 9, 2009
Free School District)
New Canaan, New York
Erie 1 BOCES
769123
2010
May 14, 2012
West Seneca, New York
Las Cruces Public Schools
737265
2010
May 22, 2012
Las Cruces, New Mexico
4

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.