Magazine article American Libraries

FCC Adopts New Rules to Cut E-Rate Fraud. (News Fronts Washington)

Magazine article American Libraries

FCC Adopts New Rules to Cut E-Rate Fraud. (News Fronts Washington)

Article excerpt

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules April 23 designed to address concerns over fraud and abuse in the e-rate program, which subsidizes telecommunications costs for libraries and schools.

The changes bar persons convicted of a criminal or civil offense related to e-rate activities from participating in the program for three years or longer. They also prohibit funding for duplicative services, but now allow use of e-rate funds for voice mail and wireless services. To facilitate processing of applications, the Universal Service Administrative Company, which administers the e-rate, will create an online list of equipment that is eligible for the program.

"Today's item eliminates complexity where it serves no legitimate purpose while expanding upon the existing robust protections against waste, fraud, and abuse in the program," said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell.

In March, the House Committee on Energy and Finance requested detailed information from the FCC on its oversight of the e-rate as part of an investigation of waste and fraud in the program, and Rep. Thomas Tancredo (R-Colo.) reintroduced legislation to terminate the program (AL, May, p. …

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