Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (BMIC)
Licenses can fall under either the Internal Connections (IC) or the Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (BMIC) service type, depending on their function. Both the FCC Form 470 and the FCC Form 471 must have requested the license under the appropriate service type. It is critical that the services are properly bid in the FCC Form 470 process and filed correctly on the FCC Form 471 when it is submitted.
- An Internal Connections (IC) license is a license for software that allows the eligible internal connections equipment to function and distribute high-speed broadband throughout school buildings and libraries. Internal connection licenses frequently include Right-to-Use and Access licenses. For example, although you may pay once to purchase a wireless access point (WAP), you may need to pay an annual fee to the manufacturer to allow you to use the WAP. The annual fee is the internal connections license (e.g., right-to-use software or client access license).
- A Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (BMIC) license is a license that includes Maintenance Support Service (software upgrades and patches, including bug fixes and security patches, as well as technical support). For example, after purchasing a switch, you may need to pay a separate annual fee to be able to download software updates and receive technical support for the device.
Yes, an applicant can request funding for a multi-year Internal Connections license (i.e., a Right to Use license) in a single year with the associated equipment. For example, an applicant may purchase a wireless access point with a three-year license without spreading the cost across three separate funding years.
Conversely, an applicant can only include one year of service for a license in each BMIC FRN for each Funding Year. For example, if in FY 2021, your BMIC license for technical support is for three years and totals $3000, you must request BMIC funding in each of the three relevant years. In FY 2021, you may only invoice USAC for one year of coverage totaling $1000. For the next two funding years, you will request funding for the BMIC license for $1000 each year. After you invoice USAC, if you receive outreach requesting information, provide the bill from your service provider and explain to the reviewer the bill covers multiple years of a BMIC license.
Some vendor licenses may include both BMIC and Internal Connections (IC) functionality such as Right-to-Use (RTU) and Maintenance services included in the same license. The costs for this license, based on functionality, should be split into separate FRNs for BMIC and IC services. For example, if in FY 2021, a particular license was 60% eligible under BMIC and 40% under IC, 60% of the cost would be included in the BMIC services FRN and 40% of the costs in the IC services FRN. Contact the manufacturer or the E-Rate Customer Service Center (CSC) to obtain the breakdown in functionality for the particular piece of equipment and related license in a particular funding year. Eligibility for each piece of equipment is determined based on the relevant Funding Year.
If the mistake is realized before an FCDL is issued, the applicant should submit a Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) to make the correction. If the mistake is realized after the FCDL is issued, the applicant should submit a Service Substitution request with a detailed narrative explaining the background, calculation for changes (single vs. multi-year) and the reason for the change, including any need to shift funding between transactions to make this correction between standard Internal Connections (multi-year commitments) and BMIC (single-year commitments). All Service Substitutions should be submitted before the Service Substitution deadline for that FRN.
The services must have been properly bid in the supporting FCC Form 470 and all competitive bidding requirements are met, for USAC to make the requested change.