In the Second E-rate Modernization Order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules providing additional Category One funding to match any appropriated state funding for “special construction” costs to connect schools and libraries to high-speed broadband services. Specifically, these new rules allow the FCC’s E-rate Program to provide up to an additional 10% to match any appropriated state funding for fiber special construction on a one-to-one dollar basis. This Modernization Order presents school districts with an unprecedented opportunity to connect schools to fiber.
A number of states have appropriated funds for a state match to support school districts in connecting to high-speed broadband services. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has a process for verifying that the state funds meet all eligibility requirements and makes public the list of eligible state matching funds on its website.
An example of how E-rate State Matching Funds are calculated and applied by districts applying for funding can be found on the USAC site. Additional and more detailed examples can be found below.