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SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES PROGRAM HURRICANE RELIEF ORDERS

Summary of the Orders and Important Deadlines

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provided emergency relief to schools and libraries impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (Hurricanes) in two orders (DA 17-984, released October 6, 2017 and
FCC 17-139, released on October 30, 2017).

The relief includes the following:

(1) Targeted support to schools and libraries located in the most severely impacted areas to help them restore services and replace equipment damaged by the Hurricanes;
(2) Increased flexibility to request service substitutions;
(3) Support for schools incurring additional costs for eligible services because they are serving students displaced by the Hurricanes;
(4) Extensions of program deadlines;
(5) A limited waiver of recordkeeping requirements for records destroyed by the Hurricanes.

Eligibility Information

Directly Impacted Applicants are applicants that are located in counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible for individual disaster assistance (Directly Impacted Areas) and certify that they have incurred substantial damage to E-rate eligible services and equipment as a result of one or more of the Hurricanes.

You can locate Directly Impacted Areas using the search tool on the FEMA Disaster site. In general, FEMA’s disaster declarations are issued on a county-by-county basis for each affected state or territory.

Indirectly Impacted Schools are schools that are incurring additional costs because of increased demand for E-rate eligible services while serving students displaced by the Hurricanes.

To be eligible for relief, a school’s student count must have increased by 5 percent or more due to serving students displaced by the Hurricanes, and the school must have experienced an associated increase in demand for E-rate eligible services for which they submitted a FY 2017 funding request. Indirectly Impacted Schools may or may not be located in the Directly Impacted Areas.

Certification Requirements

Both Directly Impacted Applicants and Indirectly Impacted Schools must certify that they meet the requirements set forth in the order FCC 17-139  to be eligible for this emergency relief. Both Directly Impacted Applicants and Indirectly Impacted Schools will also need to retain all documentation demonstrating that the certification requirements were met and all documentation related to the services and funding requested pursuant to this emergency relief.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Date

Description

September 15, 2017

In the September 15, 2017 News Brief, USAC announced that applicants in FEMA-declared Major Disaster Areas have an additional 30 days to respond to pending and new Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) inquiries about FCC Forms 471 as well as any other pending and new USAC requests for information and/or other documentation.

October 6, 2017

Wireline Competition Bureau’s Hurricane Relief Order (DA 17-984) released. Applicants in counties designated by FEMA as eligible for individual assistance (Affected Disaster Areas) receive additional time to submit requests for review or waiver of decisions by USAC, directed to USAC or the Commission, and file FCC Forms 486, 472, and 474.

October 30, 2017

FCC Hurricane Relief Order (FCC 17-139) released. The Commission adopted temporary rules to provide targeted support to schools and libraries that are forced to rebuild facilities and replace equipment damaged by the Hurricanes, and schools that are incurring additional costs for eligible services, e.g., for increased bandwidth demand, because they are serving students that have been displaced by the storms.

November 13, 2017

Second FY 2017 Application Window opens for Directly Impacted Applicants and Indirectly Impacted Schools.

November 29, 2017

Last day to submit an FCC Form 470 during the Second FY 2017 Application Window and comply with the abbreviated 14-day competitive bidding period.

December 13, 2017

Second FY 2017 Application Window closes.

March 5, 2018

Last day of extended deadline to file appeals, FCC Forms 486, 472, and 474 for applicants in counties designated by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas eligible for individual assistance.

June 30, 2018

Deadline to request additional time to implement non-recurring special construction FY 2017 funding requests (applicant must file a valid FCC Form 500 certifying construction unavoidably delayed due to damage caused by Hurricanes).

September 30, 2018

Implementation deadline for FY 2016 non-recurring services (other than special construction).

June 30, 2019

Deadline to implement non-recurring special construction and light new fiber for FY 2017 funding requests.