Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Bloomfield Public School District, Bloomfield, NM

Download Options

Released: July 8, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Petitions for Reconsideration by
)
)
Bloomfield Public School District
)
File Nos. SLD-498690 et al.
Bloomfield, NM
)
)
Trillion Partners, Inc.
)
Austin, TX
)
)
Schools and Libraries Universal Service
)
CC Docket No. 02-6
Support Mechanism
)

ORDER AND ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION

Adopted: July 8, 2013

Released: July 8, 2013

By the Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau:
1.
Consistent with precedent,1 we deny a petition for reconsideration filed by Trillion Partners,
Inc. (Trillion)2 and dismiss as untimely a petition for reconsideration filed by Bloomfield Public School


1 See, e.g., Petition for Reconsideration by Lake Pend Oreille School District et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal
Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket No. 02-6, Order on Reconsideration, 28 FCC Rcd 1103, 1107, para. 5
(Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013) (finding that the service provider, Trillion, and the applicant engaged in numerous and
substantive communications which provided Trillion with access to information not available to other bidders);
Requests for Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by Marana Unified School District et al.;
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 1525, 1529-
30, para. 8 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012) (Marana Order) (finding that the service provider, Trillion, engaged in
routine and numerous contacts with the applicant by discussing all aspects of the applicant's technology needs and
request for proposal in violation of the Commission's competitive bidding rules, and assisted with the preparation of
the applicant's FCC Form 470 and request for proposal); Requests for Review of Decisions of the Universal Service
Administrator by Central Islip Free Union School District et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support
Mechanism
, CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 26 FCC Rcd 8630, 8632, para. 3 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2011) (Central
Islip Order
) (finding that "a service provider participating in the competitive bidding process cannot be involved in
the preparation of the entity's FCC Form 470"); Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, CC
Docket No. 02-6, Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 26912,
26939, para. 66 (2003) (stating that a fair and open competitive bidding process is critical to preventing waste, fraud,
and abuse of program resources); Request for Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by
MasterMind Internet Services, Inc.; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service,
CC Docket No. 96-45, Order,
16 FCC Rcd 4028, 4033, para. 10 (2000) (MasterMind Order) (finding that an applicant impairs its ability to hold a
fair competitive bidding process when it allows a service provider to provide assistance in the administration of the
competitive bidding process and participate in the process as a bidder); Warren C. Havens, Applications to Provide
Automated Maritime Telecommunications System Stations at Various Locations in Texas, and Applications to
Provide Automated Maritime Telecommunications System Stations at Chaffee, Aspen, Colorado Springs, Copper
Mountain, and Leadville, Colorado
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 3210, 3212, para. 7 (2008)
(Warren C. Havens Order) (finding that Commission rules require petitions for reconsideration to be filed within
thirty days from the release of the Commission's action and that this rule will only be waived if there are extremely
unusual circumstances).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

District (Bloomfield)3 (collectively, petitioners) of that portion of our Charlton County Order affirming
the decision by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). 4 USAC denied funding to
Bloomfield under the E-rate program (more formally known as the schools and libraries universal service
support program) for funding years 2006 through 2010.5 Also consistent with precedent,6 we deny the
requests for review filed by Bloomfield and Trillion of USAC's decision denying E-rate funding to
Bloomfield for funding year 2011.7
2.
Under the E-rate program, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia that include eligible
schools and libraries may apply for universal service support for eligible services.8 E-rate program rules
provide that these entities must seek competitive bids for services eligible for support.9 In accordance
with the Commission's competitive bidding rules, applicants must submit for posting on USAC's website
an FCC Form 470 requesting discounts for E-rate eligible services.10 The applicant must describe the
requested services with sufficient specificity to enable potential service providers to submit bids for such
services.11 After submitting an FCC Form 470, the applicant must wait 28 days before making
commitments with the selected service providers.12
3.
The Commission's rules require applicants to carefully consider all submitted bids prior to
entering into a contract, and that the price of eligible products and services must be the primary factor in
selecting the winning bid.13 The competitive bidding process must be fair and open, and must not have
(Continued from previous page)


2 Letter from Henry M. Rivera, Counsel to Trillion Partners, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 02-6 (filed Mar. 24, 2012) (Trillion Petition for Reconsideration).
3 See Letter from John F. Kennedy, Counsel, Bloomfield Public School District, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 02-6, at 8 (filed Mar. 29, 2012) (Bloomfield Petition for
Reconsideration).
4 Requests for Waiver and Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by Charlton County School
System et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket No. 02-6, Order, 27 FCC
Rcd 2010, 2012, App. (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012) (Charlton County Order) (finding that Bloomfield and Trillion
violated the Commission's competitive bidding requirements by engaging in improper communications and failed to
demonstrate good cause justifying a waiver of the Commission's competitive bidding requirements).
5 See id.
6 See supra n.1.
7 Letter from Edgar Class, Counsel to Trillion Partners, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 02-6 (filed Jan. 18, 2013) (Trillion Request for Review); Letter from
John F. Kennedy, Counsel, Bloomfield Public School District, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 02-6 (filed Feb. 4, 2013) (Bloomfield Request for Review).
8 See 47 C.F.R. 54.501-54.502 (2013). See also 47 C.F.R. 54.501-54.503 (2006). In this Order and Order on
Reconsideration, we describe the requirements of the E-rate program as they currently exist, but because we address
applications from funding years 2006 through 2011, and the Commission has reorganized the E-rate rules in the
interim, where the Commission's codification of the rules in the Code of Federal Regulations has changed, we also
cite to the relevant rules as they existed during the relevant funding years.
9 See 47 C.F.R. 54.503 (2013). See also 47 C.F.R. 54.504 (2006).
10 See 47 C.F.R. 54.503(c) (2013). See also 47 C.F.R. 54.504 (b) (2006).
11 See id.
12 See id. See also, e.g., Requests for Review of Decisions of the Universal Service Administrator by Approach
Learning and Assessment Centers et al.; Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, CC Docket
No. 02-6, Order, 23 FCC Rcd 15510 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2008).
13 47 C.F.R. 54.511(a) (2013). See also 47 C.F.R. 54.511(a) (2006).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

been compromised because of improper conduct by the applicant, service provider, or both parties.14
Under the Commission's rules, a service provider participating in the competitive bidding process cannot
be involved in the preparation of the entity's technology plan, FCC Form 470 or an associated request for
proposals. 15 In addition, all potential bidders must have access to the same information and must be
treated in the same manner throughout the procurement process.16
4.
Dismissal. We dismiss Bloomfield's petition for reconsideration as untimely. Section
1.106 (f) of the Commission's rules requires that a petition for reconsideration be filed within thirty days
from the release of the Commission's action.17 The Commission has previously indicated that this
deadline will only be waived if there are "extremely unusual circumstances."18 In this instance,
Bloomfield filed its petition for reconsideration three days late, and asks for a waiver of the
Commission's rules because it miscalculated the petition for reconsideration deadline date.19 We do not
find that Bloomfield's justification constitutes extremely unusual circumstances and therefore, we decline
to grant Bloomfield's request for a waiver of the Commission's rules.20 We thus dismiss Bloomfield's
petition for reconsideration.21
5.
Denial. We also deny Trillion's petition for reconsideration on the merits. While Trillion
argues that the Charlton County Order failed to provide a reasoned analysis,22 we find that our denial was
fully supported by cited precedent which clearly prohibits the actions taken by the petitioners here.23 In
the Charlton County Order, we relied on the Commission's rules and precedent that prohibits service
providers from assisting with the preparation of the applicant's FCC Form 470.24 We also relied on
precedent that requires that all potential bidders have access to the same information, and that all service
providers must be treated in the same manner, throughout the procurement process.25


14 See supra n.1. In the Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order, the Commission codified the existing
requirement that the E-rate competitive bidding process be fair and open. See Schools and Libraries Universal
Service Support Mechanism; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future
, CC Docket No. 02-6, GN Docket No. 09-
51, Sixth Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 18762, 18798-800, paras. 85-86 (2010) (Schools and Libraries Sixth
Report and Order
); 47 C.F.R. 54.503.
15 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 54.503(a) (note); Marana Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 1532-33, paras. 12-13; Central Islip Order,
26 FCC Rcd at 8636, para. 14; MasterMind Order, 16 FCC Rcd at 4033, para. 10.
16 See Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 18799, para. 86.
17 See 47 C.F.R. 1.106(f) (2013).
18 See Warren C. Havens Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 3212, para. 7 (declining to waive the rules for a petitioner who
missed the deadline by one day due to unforeseen technical problems).
19 See Bloomfield Petition for Reconsideration at 8.
20 See 47 C.F.R. 1.106(f) (2013). We note that Trillion timely filed its petition for reconsideration on behalf of
Bloomfield and makes arguments similar to those found in Bloomfield's petition for reconsideration. Therefore, had
Bloomfield's petition for reconsideration been filed timely, it would have been denied consistent with our decision
above. See infra paras. 5-7; Trillion Petition for Reconsideration; Bloomfield Petition for Reconsideration.
21 See supra n.3. See also Appendix A.
22 See Trillion Petition for Reconsideration at 3-4.
23 See Charlton County Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 2010, para. 1 n.1.
24 See id. (citing MasterMind Order, 16 FCC Rcd at 4033, para. 10, which found that a service provider participating
in the competitive bidding process cannot be involved in the preparation of the entity's FCC Form 470).
25 See Charlton County Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 2010, para. 1. See also supra n. 1.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

6.
Here, the record shows that Bloomfield provided detailed information to Trillion about its
needs and worked with Trillion on a proposal prior to beginning the competitive bidding process for
funding year 2006.26 The record also shows that Trillion provided Bloomfield guidance on the
preparation of Bloomfield's FCC Form 470 application for funding year 2006.27 Thus, consistent with
precedent, we correctly found in the Charlton County Order that Bloomfield violated the Commission's
competitive bidding rules by providing information to Trillion that was not available to other bidders and
by allowing Trillion to assist in the preparation of the applicant's FCC Form 470.28
7.
In its petition for reconsideration, Trillion agrees that the E-rate competitive bidding
process should be fair and open, and does not dispute that it had communications with Bloomfield.29
Trillion instead claims the communications were neutral conversations about Bloomfield's technology
needs and Trillion's service offerings.30 Furthermore, Trillion admits to providing FCC Form 470
language suggestions, but argues that Bloomfield did not ultimately use their suggestions.31 We disagree
with Trillion's characterization of the breadth and nature of the communications. Contrary to Trillion's
assertions, the record shows that Trillion's FCC Form 470 language suggestions did appear on
Bloomfield's FCC Form 470.32 Further, the record demonstrates that the petitioners discussed subjects


26 There were communications from July through August of 2005 between Gary Gaessler from Trillion and Sondra
Adams from Bloomfield, prior to Bloomfield's competitive bidding process. We list a few of those communications
here as examples. See, e.g., Email from Gary Gaessler, Trillion Partners, Inc., to Sondra Adams, Bloomfield Public
School District (dated Jul. 19, 2005) ("RE: Trillion questions for updated proposal..."; stating "Been busy reviewing
your previous proposals and have some questions for you when you call: 1) Confirm site locations on previous
design 2) Looks like your Blanco ES has some terrain/distance challenges? I see we quoted a T1 connection. Lets
discuss. 3) Is Rio Vista MS where you have fiber? Do you own this fiber? What is the distance? Would you be
interested in Trillion managing this fiber under erate? 4) We have some new managed services: firewall, content
filtering, email filtering, etc. would like to review and see what you currently have and issues."); Email from Sondra
Adams, Bloomfield Public School District, to Gary Gaessler, Trillion Partners, Inc. (dated Aug. 28, 2005) (stating "I
have not been able to file for the 470 with the start of the school and the worm that seemed to find us and has settled.
I hope to be able to get with the erate consultant this week and get things settled. >Wanted to check status on your
470 filing? (Let me know if you need possible language to use) I would like any examples that you could give me.
>2. Could you provide the handset count for Blanco? Blanco is approx. 50 stations >3. Would like to have a call to
review your LAN network, i.e. switching equip, models, hubs, QOS capabilities etc. I would be glad to set that up.
We will need to have our lead technician involved in that also. Let me know when it's a good time for you and I
will get him involved. >Roger and I would like to meet for a design & confirmation meeting (and or a possible
proposal presentation if ready) the week of 9/18, preferably Tuesday 9/20 with you and your Finance Director if
your available? I am sure that I can get Randy involved on any day except Tuesdays.").
27 See, e.g., Email from Gary Gaessler, Trillion Partners, Inc. to Sondra Adams, Bloomfield Public School District
(dated Aug. 30, 2005) (stating "Listed below is the 470 language we recommend: The description for the WAN can
be the same for the Voice service as well. The 470 should just say: Description: Wide Area Network for data and
voice; Quantity: District wide; This should work for both the WAN and the Voice service over the WAN. Make
sure you list this as a multi-year agreement or an agreement with voluntary extensions. . . . let me know if and when
there is a 470 we can review."). Bloomfield's funding years 2007 through 2010 applications relied on the same
competitive bidding process conducted for funding year 2006. See Bloomfield Request for Review at 3.
28 See Charlton County Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 2010, para. 1.
29 Trillion Petition for Reconsideration at 5.
30 Id. at 7.
31 Id. at 2-3.
32 Compare Email from Gary Gaessler, Trillion Partners, Inc. to Sondra Adams, Bloomfield Public School District
(dated Aug. 30, 2005) (stating that "The 470 should just say: Description: Wide Area Network for data and voice;
Quantity: District wide... Make sure you list this as a multi-year agreement or an agreement with voluntary
extensions), with FCC Form 470 Bloomfield Public School District (posted Jan. 1, 2006) (describing in 8(c) Service
(continued...)
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

that provided Trillion with information such as Bloomfield's technical requirements, infrastructure and
challenges regarding specific school sites.33 The petitioners also had discussions about what to include in
Trillion's proposal for the district.34 Moreover, the communications were between Trillion, as a potential
service provider, and Bloomfield's FCC Form 470 contact person who had influence in Bloomfield's
competitive bidding process.35 There is no evidence in the record to indicate that the information was
provided in a manner accessible to all potential bidders. Instead, the record shows that Bloomfield
provided Trillion with access to information that was not provided to other bidders and that Trillion
advised Bloomfield on its FCC Form 470 in violation of the Commission's competitive bidding
requirements.36 Finally, Trillion failed to present any special circumstances that would justify a waiver of
the Commission's rules.37 We therefore affirm our Charlton County Order, and deny Trillion's request
for reconsideration.
8.
Requests for Review. For the same reasons discussed above, we also deny Bloomfield's
and Trillion's requests for review related to Bloomfield's application for funding year 2011.38
Bloomfield's funding year 2011 application relied on the same competitive bidding process conducted for
funding year 2006.39 Thus, USAC, relying on our Charlton County Order, denied Bloomfield's funding
year 2011 application.40 Because we are now upholding our decision with respect to funding years 2006
through 2010, we also find it appropriate to deny Bloomfield's and Trillion's requests for review for
funding year 2011.
9.
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, 1.106, and 54.722(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, 1.106 and
54.722(a), that the petition for reconsideration filed by Bloomfield Public School District, as identified in
Appendix A, IS DISMISSED.
(Continued from previous page)


or Function "Wireless LAN/WAN (Voice and Data); Quantity: District Wide" and checking the boxes in 7(b) for a
"multi-year contract and/or a contract featuring voluntary extensions").
33 See supra n.26.
34 See id.
35 See FCC Form 470 Bloomfield Public School District (posted Jan. 1, 2006) (listing "Sondra Adams" as
Bloomfield's contact person).
36 See supra n.26.
37 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.
38 See Appendix C.
39 See Trillion Request for Review at 4; Bloomfield Request for Review at 3.
40 See Letter from USAC, Schools and Libraries Division, to Virginia Bryant, Trillion Partners, Inc. (dated Dec. 5,
2012) (regarding Bloomfield Public School District's FY 2011 FCC Form 471 application number 775450, funding
request numbers (FRN) 2102447 and 2102470) (stating that "[c]onsistent with FCC Order DA 12-260, the FCC has
determined that your competitive bidding process was flawed due to improper service provider involvement in the
competitive bidding process that [led] to this contract. Therefore, funding is denied.").
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

10.
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, 1.106, and 54.722(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, 1.106 and
54.722(a), that the petition for reconsideration filed by Trillion Partners, Inc., as identified in Appendix B,
IS DENIED, and the requests for review filed by Bloomfield Public School District and Trillion Partners,
Inc., as identified in Appendix C, ARE DENIED.
11.
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 1.106 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.91, 0.291, 1.106, that USAC SHALL
CONTINUE its recovery actions against Bloomfield Public School District and Trillion Partners, Inc., to
the extent provided herein.41
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kimberly A. Scardino
Chief
Telecommunications Access Policy Division
Wireline Competition Bureau


41 See Demand Payment Letter from USAC, Schools and Libraries Division, to Trillion Partners, Inc. (dated Feb. 28,
2012) (regarding funding year 2006 FCC Form 471 application number 498690, FRNs 1438436 and 1438482,
seeking recovery for $138,156.28 and $13,838.33, respectively); Demand Payment Letter from USAC, Schools and
Libraries Division, to Trillion Partners, Inc. (dated Feb. 28, 2012) (regarding funding year 2007 FCC Form 471
application number 545994, FRNs 1508051 and 1508056, seeking recovery for $167,772.96 and $12,630.56,
respectively).
6

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1528

APPENDIX A

Petition for Reconsideration Dismissed

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Request for

Numbers

Years

Review/Waiver Filed

Bloomfield Public School District
498690
2006
Mar. 29, 2012
Bloomfield, NM
545994
2007
Mar. 29, 2012
600085
2008
Mar. 29, 2012
656519
2009
Mar. 29, 2012
693027
2009
Mar. 29, 2012
739004
2010
Mar. 29, 2012

APPENDIX B

Petition for Reconsideration Denied

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Request for

Numbers

Years

Review/Waiver Filed

Trillion Partners, Inc.
498690
2006
Mar. 24, 2012
Austin, TX
545994
2007
Mar. 24, 2012
(Bloomfield Public School District
600085
2008
Mar. 24, 2012
Bloomfield, NM)
656519
2009
Mar. 24, 2012
693027
2009
Mar. 24, 2012
739004
2010
Mar. 24, 2012

APPENDIX C

Requests for Review Denied

Petitioner

Application

Funding

Date Request for

Number

Year

Review/Waiver Filed

Bloomfield Public School District
775450
2011
Feb. 4, 2013
Bloomfield, NM
Trillion Partners, Inc.
775450
2011
Jan. 18, 2013
Austin, TX
(Bloomfield Public School District
Bloomfield, NM)
7

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.