Beginning in E-Rate Funding Year 2010, schools and libraries will have broader opportunities to obtain federal funding for their telephone systems, wireless services, text messaging capabilities and other Internet technologies. These changes were recently introduced as part of the Eligible Services List (ESL) for E-Rate Funding Year 2010, released on June 3, 2009. In particular, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has proposed the following changes to the current ESL. These changes will be open to public comment through June 23, 2009.
- Expanding the categories in which applicants can seek interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services by including interconnected VoIP;
- Listing Ethernet as eligible digital transmission technology;
- Clarifying that text messaging is an eligible telephone service component;
- Clarifying that password-protected web pages are eligible as part of web hosting services;
- Including wireless local area network controllers as eligible internal connections;
- Concluding that user licenses for interconnected VoIP systems are eligible under internal connections as server-based software;
- Adding unbundled warranty as eligible under the basic maintenance of internal connections category;
- Adding virtualization software as an eligible software for which funding can be sought in the internal connections category; and
- Specifying that the following products or services are not eligible for discounts: broadcast messaging; power distribution units; video-on-demand servers; softphones; interactive white boards; and e-mail archiving beyond the storage component that allows current e-mails that have been received to be viewed by the user.
The draft ESL can be found at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-1233A1.pdf.