On June 8, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that there is sufficient funding available to fully meet USAC’s estimated demand for both Category One services (i.e., telecommunications and Internet access) and Category Two equipment and services (i.e., internal connections and their maintenance, and managed internal broadband) for funding year 2016, which begins on July 1, 2016.
USAC has estimated that the total demand for funding year 2016 will be $3.609 billion, which is comprised of $2.330 billion for Category One services and $1.279 billion for Category Two services. Meanwhile, the Bureau announced that the E-Rate funding cap for funding year 2016 is $3.939 billion, leaving an estimated funding cushion of approximately $330 million. In addition, there are $1.9 billion in unused funds from previous years available for E-Rate services in 2016.
The Bureau, therefore, directed USAC to fund all eligible Category One and Category Two requests by first drawing from the unused funds from previous years, and then funding the rest from monies earmarked for FY 2016.