FCC Waives Gift Rules for RHC and E-Rate
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:00 AM
The FCC announced today that they are waiving the gift rules for RHC and E-Rate. This is wonderful and welcome good news!
The news release states: “Commission rules prohibit entities eligible for the RHC and E-Rate programs from soliciting or accepting any thing of value from a service provider participating or seeking to participate in those programs. Today’s waiver will allow health care providers, schools, and libraries to accept improved capacity, Wi-Fi hotspots, networking gear, or other equipment or services to support doctors and patients, teachers and students, and librarians and patrons during the coronavirus outbreak. For example, some providers have expressed interest in providing free network upgrades for hospitals that need more robust connections to treat patients via telemedicine and free connected devices and hotspots for students who will be taking classes at home. This waiver will enable them to do such things.”
Read the full order here.
Today’s announcement from the FCC follows their decision last week to extend the E-Rate filing window deadline to April 29th.
One of our Texas schools shared the following additional resources that have been announced:
Connectivity for Students
- FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
- Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
- AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
- Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting is working on finishing E-Rate and RHC applications for FY2020 in a timely and quality manner. We have over 15 years of telecommuting experience so we are all set to continue working online on your behalf.
Be sure to stay in communication with us if your E-Rate applications have not yet been submitted and certified.
Thank you for all of your efforts to keep our communities connected and safe!
-Deborah Sovereign, CPA, Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC