FCC Looks to Promote Fair and Open Competitive Bidding in E-Rate Program

The Federal Communications Commission approved a proposal seeking comment on improving transparency and efficiency in the competitive bidding process for the E-Rate program. The proposal would require bids for E-Rate services and equipment to be uploaded into a centralized document portal managed by the Universal Service Administrative Company. This would replace a process by which service providers submit bids directly to applicants for E-Rate-supported equipment and services. The order also seeks comment on other ways to improve the competitive bidding process and
enhance program integrity. This proposal responds to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office and the FCC’s Office of Inspector General to take steps to improve program safeguards and is intended to ensure that entities participating in the E-Rate program conduct a fair and open
competitive bidding process; prevent improper payments; increase program efficiencies, and reduce administrative costs associated with the collection of bidding documentation by requiring it upfront, rather than during the application review or audit process.

FCC Looks to Promote Fair & Open Competitive Bidding in E-Rate Program