FCC Extends Hurricane Katrina Universal Service Assistance Programs
Programs Provide Those Affected by Hurricane Katrina With Wireless Service; Aid to Schools & Libraries.
March 2, 2006, Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has adopted an order extending its relief plan to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina through targeted universal fund (USF) support. Shortly after the Gulf Coast was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Commission adopted the October 2005 Hurricane Katrina Order, which, among other things, provided temporary modifications to the schools and libraries universal service support mechanisms (also known as E-Rate) to assist schools and libraries affected by Hurricane Katrina, and allowed evacuees and other persons displaced by the Hurricane to qualify for 300 minutes of free wireless service and a handset under the federal Lifeline program. The Commission extends until September 30, 2006, the filing window for schools and libraries directly affected by Katrina to apply for 2006 funding for eligible services under the E-rate program. The Commission also waives for affected schools in funding year 2006 the “two-in-five” rule, which bars applicants from receiving funds for internal connections for more than two out of every five funding years. In addition, because many Hurricane Katrina victims remain displaced, the Commission extends for three months the federal Katrina Lifeline Program, which was set to expire on March 1.
Action by the Commission, February 28, 2006, by Order (FCC 06-23). Chairman Martin, Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, and Tate.
Docket Nos.: 96-45, 02-6, 02-60, 03-109.
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