FCC Approves SHLB’s Request to Extend Gift Rule Waiver for E-rate and Rural Health Care Programs Through June 2021 December 14, 2020
For Immediate Release
Communications Manager, SHLB Coalition
Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2020) - Today the Federal Communications Commission extended its waiver of the gift rules governing the E-rate and Rural Health Care (RHC) Programs through June 30, 2021. The FCC initially established the gift rule waiver in March, when it became clear that many schools, libraries, and healthcare providers would need additional broadband support to handle the surge in telehealth and remote learning due to COVID-19.
John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition made the following statement:
“We are very pleased that the FCC approved the SHLB Coalition’s request to extend the gift rule waivers through June 2021. With each new day bringing staggering new coronavirus statistics, schools, libraries and healthcare providers require all the help they can get from their service provider partners during this challenging time. Through the waiver extension, these anchors have received free or discounted tablets and Chromebooks, hotspots and networking equipment, and additional internet bandwidth to help them serve their communities.”
The SHLB Coalition, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) jointly filed a request in August to extend these waivers through the end of the funding year. The FCC previously granted this waiver through Dec. 31, 2020.
The SHLB Coalition additionally filed a joint ex parte letter with the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance in the FCC’s WC Docket No. 02-60 and CC Docket No. 02-6 to reiterate its request for the extended waiver. It also reiterated the request in an additional ex parte letter.
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.