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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

DA Number: 97-2152
Released: October 3, 1997


CC Docket 96-45

In the Report and Order on Universal Service released May 8, 1997, the Commission established rules that will permit eligible schools and libraries to receive universal service support for all commercially available telecommunications services, Internet access, and internal connections that will be used for educational purposes.(1) These rules implement section 254(h) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), also known as the Snowe-Rockefeller-Exon-Kerrey Amendment. That provision requires that eligible elementary and secondary schools and libraries receive discounts on supported services.(2) In addition, section 254(h)(2) of the Act states that all public and non-profit elementary and secondary school classrooms and libraries should have access to advanced telecommunications services.(3) In the Universal Service Order, the Commission established rules to provide universal service support to eligible schools and libraries in accordance with section 254(h).

In the Report and Order on changes to NECA's governance, the Commission directed NECA to create an independently functioning not-for-profit subsidiary, known as the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), through which it will serve as temporary administrator of certain portions of the federal universal service support mechanisms.(4) The Commission also directed NECA to create an unaffiliated, not-for-profit corporation, known as the Schools and Libraries Corporation, to manage the application and other processes relating to administering the universal service discount program for schools and libraries.(5) On September 9, 1997, Chairman Hundt named the members of the Boards of Directors of USAC and the Schools and Libraries Corporation.(6) The USAC Board of Directors held its first meeting on September 22, 1997, and the Board of Directors of the Schools and Libraries Corporation held its first meeting on September 23, 1997.

Under the Commission's rules, eligible schools and libraries that request universal service support will be required to complete application forms.(7) The Common Carrier Bureau and the Schools and Libraries Corporation will hold a public workshop in order to seek input on the form and content of the applications, as well as to provide guidance on how to complete them and to answer questions from the public. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the draft applications. For purposes of discussion, we will provide draft applications; we emphasize that these drafts should not be used to apply for universal service funding. The workshop will be held on Friday, October 10, 1997 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon in the Commission Meeting Room, 1919 M Street, N.W., Room 856, Washington, D.C. 20554. Interested parties may attend the workshop. The workshop also will be recorded on video, and copies of the videotape will be available in the Commission's Reference Room, 1919 M Street, N.W., Room 239, Washington, D.C. 20554.

For further information about this workshop, contact Astrid Carlson at (202) 418-7369.

1. Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report and Order, CC Docket No. 96-45, FCC 97-157 (rel. May 8, 1997) at paras. 431, 436, 450, 577, and 589 (Universal Service Order).

2. 47 U.S.C. § 254(h)(1)(B).

3. 47 U.S.C. § 254(h)(2)(A).

4. Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. and Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket Nos. 97-21 and 96-45, FCC 97-253, Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration (rel. July 18, 1997) at para. 1 (NECA Order).

5. NECA Order at para. 2.

6. See Chairman Hundt Names Members to Universal Service Boards, News Release (rel. Sept. 9, 1997).

7. 47 C.F.R. § 54.504.