Competitive Bidding Exemptions

Category 1 – Low Cost, High-Speed Internet Access

Commercially Available Business class Internet Option (CABIO) Category 1 (C1) equipment and services are exempt from filing the FCC Form 470 if they meet all of the following requirements: 

  • Commercially available: This means that it is publicly available to non-residential customers (such as enterprise, small business, or other government customers) in the same form and at the same rates that it is offered to schools or libraries. Therefore, it may not be purchased through a master contract signed for just certain customers, even if the contract includes schools and libraries. 
  • Low cost: This means that the total annual pre-discount cost for the service, including any one-time costs such as installation, does not exceed $3,600 per year per school or library. 
  • High-speed: This means that the service must provide bandwidth speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream and provide basic conduit access to the Internet at those required minimum speeds. 

An applicant utilizing the CABIO exemption should: 

  • File your FCC Form 471 funding application to request E-Rate support 

Category 2 – Low Cost Internal Connections (Libraries only, effective Funding Year 2024 and later)

  • Beginning in FY2024, library applicants seeking E-Rate support for Category 2 equipment and services that total a pre-discounted amount of $3,600 or less per library in a single funding year are exempt from filing the FCC Form 470.  These costs must be based on the actual cost of the equipment and services requested and cannot be averaged across a number of libraries. 
  • An applicant utilizing this exemption should create a contract record. (How to Create a Contract Record)