STATUS REPORT: BRINGING FIBER TO AMERICA’S SCHOOLS .

245 DAYS

The time school districts wait
to discover the fate of their
fiber projects.

After waiting, districts are still

7x
MORE LIKELY

to be denied.

Red Tape is Delaying Digital Equity

Over 2,000 schools, primarily in rural areas, still need fiber connections — the only broadband infrastructure that can keep up with growing K-12 technology needs.

E-rate modernization and governors have done their part to connect these classrooms by providing new fiber options and $200 million in state matching funds for fiber projects

Yet 28% of these schools are being denied funding to upgrade their networks.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can accelerate digital equity for more than 750,000 students by directing Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to eliminate the red tape in the E-rate application process for fiber projects.

Why is this happening?

  • Excessive scrutiny
    Projects are denied for unjust reasons when they should only be evaluated on these three metrics:

    • Eligible for e-rate funding
    • Followed the competitive bidding rules
    • Selected the most cost-effective option
  • Inconsistency in application of rules
    Service providers that separate the fiber construction charges from the monthly recurring cost are more likely to be denied than those that include those same charges in the monthly cost.
  • Lack of clarity on process changes
    During the application window, there have been several process changes that confuse applicants and lead to unfair denials.

DISTRICT STORIES

Who is being delayed and denied?

Red tape is stalling classroom connectivity across the country and
the negative impact is ultimately felt by teachers and students.

This has impacted more than 750,000 students across 32 states

See which schools in your state are impacted

66 applicants have had fiber projects unfairly denied

Alabama
Dale County School District
Saraland City Board Of Education

Arkansas
Salem Public School District

Arizona
Douglas Unified School District 27
Maine Consolidated School District 10
Snowflake Unified School District 5
Superior Unified School District 15

California
Cenic-Corporation For Education Network Initiatives In California
Los Angeles Unified School District
Mariposa County Unified School District
Planada Elementary School District

Florida
School District Of Desoto County

Georgia
Dawson County School District
Dekalb County School District

Idaho
Boise City Independent District 1

Illinois
Allendale Community Consolidated School District 17
Durand School District 322
Marshall School District C2
Olympia Community School District 16

Indiana
Blackford County Schools

Kansas
Haysville Unified School District 261
Kansas City Unified School District 500
Topeka Unified School District 501

Massachusetts
Dracut Public School

Maryland
Calvert County Public Schools

Michigan
Eup E-Rate Consortium
Hamtramck Public School District
Huron Valley School District
Kelloggsville Public School
Kent ISD Consortium
Madison School District
South Lyon Comm School District

Minnesota
Kelliher School District 36

Missouri
Belton School District 124
Park Hill School District
St. Clair School District R 13

Montana
Missoula County High Schools
Shields Valley School District
Woodman School District 18

Nebraska
Papillion-Lavista School District

New Jersey
East Brunswick Public School District

New Mexico
Bernalillo Public Schools
Central Consolidated School District 22
Farmington Municipal School District 5

New York
Rhinebeck Central School District

Ohio
Loudonville-Perrysvle School District

Oklahoma
Varnum School District

Oregon
Beaverton School District 48
Harney Education Services District

Pennsylvania
Carlisle Area School District

Texas
Daingerfield Lone Star Independent School District
Dripping Springs Independent School District
Freer Independent School District
Hutto Independent School District
Katy Independent School District
Lake Travis Independent School District
Prosper Independent School District
Riviera Independent School District
Trinity Independent School District
Victoria Independent School District

Vermont
Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union 35

Washington
Kent School District
Sumner School District 320

Wisconsin
Hartford Joint School District 1
La Crosse School District
Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District

28 fiber projects waited more than 245 days for a decision.

Arizona
Yavapai County Educational
Technology Consortium

Colorado
Denver School District 1
Norwood School District R 2
Telluride School District R 1
Weld County School District 6

Illinois
Rockton School District 140

Kansas
Haysville Unified School District 261

Massachusetts
Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District

Mississippi
Biloxi School District

Missouri
Sikeston School District R 6

New Mexico
Dulce School District

Ohio
Ridgewood Local School District

Oregon
Hillsboro School District

Pennsylvania
Intermediate Unit 17

South Carolina
Pickens County School District

Texas
Comal Independent School District
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
Del Valle Independent School District
Education Service Center Region 11 Consortium
Houston Independent School District
Northside Independent School District
Palacios Independent School District
Pasadena Independent School District
Wichita Falls Independent School District

Virginia
Albemarle County School District
Fredericksburg City School District

Wisconsin
Green Bay Area Public School District
Muskego-Norway School District

4 fiber projects are still waiting on decisions from last year.

California
Cenic-Corporation For Education
Network Initiatives In California

Missouri
Missouri Research And Education Network

As of April 2018

New Mexico
Socorro Consolidated School District

Washington
Seattle School District 1

Let’s Make Sure All Schools Can Access E-rate’s Resources

Here’s what needs to happen.

The FCC can direct USAC to do the following:

  • Approve all fiber projects for eligible applicants as long as the most cost-effective bid was selected.
  • Re-evaluate all previously delayed or denied applications against the above standard by March 1, 2018 and reverse all unfair denials.
  • Prioritize all future fiber applications for review so that, consistent with FCC policy, decisions are made by the 1st of September in the year the applications are filed.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Send a letter to your U.S. Senator to request that the FCC make these changes happen
  • Spread the word about these unfair delays and denials