New Category 2 Rules Released

December 4, 2019

~ Webinar next Tuesday – register below ~

Today the FCC released the much-anticipated Category 2 Order, outlining the rules for Funding Year 2020 and beyond.  As a whole, there is much to celebrate!  FY 2020 will be a “transition” year with basically the same rules as the last 5 years, except the C2 budget multiplier will have a 1-year “additive.”  The big changes come in FY 2021 when a new, set 5-year C2 cycle will begin, all C2 budgets will be reset, budgets will be calculated district-wide instead of by school, the minimum building amount will be increased significantly, and much more.

Below is a synopsis and attached is a chart that summarizes, by topic and funding year, what the previous rules were, and what the new rules will be moving forward.  Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to register (below) for next Tuesday’s webinar that will go over all of the changes and answer your questions.  Over the next week, I’ll be sending more information about applying for Category 2 and scheduling additional webinars to help you through procurement options/requirements.

FY 2020 (only)

  • Extended the initial 5-year C2 cycle for a 6th year (FY 2020).
  • During this year, C2 budgets will continue to be calculated at a school/library building level.
  • Unused C2 budgets from initial 5-year cycle will be available for FY 2020, plus a 20% increase in the C2 budget multipliers which I believe, based on my reading of the Order, will be:

- Schools:  $195.63/pp/school
- Libraries:  $6.52/sq ft for libraries with locale codes 11, 12, 21.  All other libraries $2.99/sq ft.

- Minimum/building: $11,998.43

Formula:  C2 multiplier x school building enrollment, minus any committed C2 funding since in FY 2015 (pre-discount amounts) for each school.

  • BOTTOM LINE:  FY 2020 is a use-it or lose-it year for C2, with a 1-time bump in available funding, so please use it.

FY 2021 – FY 2025

  • Establishes a set 5-year C2 cycle, FY 2021 – FY 2025, for all applicants.
  • All C2 budgets will be reset in FY 2021 (and at the beginning of each new 5-year cycle).  No unused C2 budgets from prior 6-year C2 cycle will be carried forward.
  • C2 budget will be calculated at district or library system level, instead of at building level.
  • Budget multiplier for FY 2021 – 2025 (will not be adjusted annually for inflation):

- Schools: $167.00/pp

- Libraries: $4.50 (ALL libraries will use this amount)

- Minimum/building: $25,000 (increase from $9,200)

- Schools with 10 schools or less can take advantage of the higher budgets for each school (enrollment or minimum)

  • Enrollment will remain static for entire budget cycle, based on the first year a district applies for C2.  Optional: schools may update C2 budget enrollment in subsequent year(s) if enrollment increases.
  • No funding available for non-instruction facilities (no change).
  • Equipment transfer restrictions will be eliminated beginning in FY 2021 but applicants must record reason and date of transfer and update asset inventory.  No notice to USAC is required.

Category 2 Changes Webinar

Date:  Tuesday, December 10

Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (more time if we need it)

Registration (required):

Happy Category 2 Filing!

– Julie
Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o



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