BAD APPLE: The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Enforcement Bureau and the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) have agreed on a $3 million settlement as a result of the FCC's investigation into the Department's handling of the bidding process of the FCC's E-rate program. The initiative subsidizes creation of and improvements on Internet access for schools and libraries.
As part of the settlement, the NYC DOE will withdraw funding requests from 2011-2013, which the FCC had previously frozen, and cancel any funding claims for services bought between 2002 and 2010. The settlement also contains a compliance plan—the Department must appoint an E-rate enforcement officer, an independent compliance examiner and undergo extensive auditing—for the NYC DOE to use in future dealings with E-rate.
“This settlement makes clear that the FCC is committed to enforcing its E-Rate rules,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc in a statement. “Any misuse of E-rate funds denies students and citizens of the educational opportunities and access to information that robust broadband in schools and libraries provides.”