Category Two (C2) Budgets
Category Two (C2) Budgets
No. In FY2015, all schools and libraries are eligible for the full amount of their five-year Category 2 (C2) budgets. The first year that a school or library receives funding for C2 services and/or equipment will be the first year of the five-year period.
The C2 budgets are in effect for schools and libraries that receive C2 funding for one or more funding years between FY2015 and FY2019. The first year that an eligible school or library receives E-rate Program support for C2 services and/or equipment will be the first year of its five-year funding cycle for its C2 budget.
No. Although the C2 request limits what the E-rate Program will reimburse, you can spend more than your C2 budget as long as you pay for those additional products and services using non-E-rate funds.
No. You can decide how to spend your Category Two (C2) budget. You can, for example, choose to spread your C2 budget evenly over five years, or you can spend your entire C2 budget in the first year, regardless of the C2 service type. Remember that if you have a multi-year contract, you can only receive reimbursement for the portion of the contract that is delivered during the funding year. You will have to request E-rate Program funding for each year of a multi-year contract.
Yes. If you find that you will not spend the entire amount of C2 funding that USAC has committed in a particular funding year, you can file an FCC Form 500 to return unused funds. School districts and library systems may need to provide additional information so that you and USAC are in agreement about the impact on a particular school or library outlet’s five-year budget.
In the FCC Form 471, you will indicate which school or library is getting the products and services in a Funding Request Number (FRN). For C2 FRNs, you will list the entities sharing that service and then indicate how much of the FRN line item costs should be allocated to each school or library. A single FRN line item for the same product or service can include multiple schools or libraries, each with their own cost allocation.
No. C2 funding must be spent for the specific school or library for which they are allotted. These funds cannot be shifted or averaged across your school district or library system.
Yes. If you need to request a service substitution, remember to follow the guidance on USAC’s website to request approval for such substitution requests.
Non-Instructional Facilities (NIFs)
Although NIFs do not get C2 budgets of their own, to the extent that a NIF houses a piece of shared equipment that is essential to connecting a school’s or library’s network to the internet, the cost of that equipment can be allocated among the budgets of the schools or libraries that are sharing that piece of equipment.
If the equipment is also used by the NIF itself, then an appropriate portion of the cost must be allocated to the ineligible NIF and removed from the funding request. When completing your application, if you have shared equipment that is located in a NIF, you must indicate in the “Narrative” section of the funding request in which NIF the piece of equipment is located.
No. Starting in FY2015, there is no longer a distinction between NIFs and NIFs with classrooms, since all entities within in a school district qualify for the same, single discount rate and NIFs are not eligible for their own C2 budget.
No, residential facilities are not eligible for a separate C2 budget. If, however, the residential facility is eligible for E-rate Program funding because it serves unique populations as set out in paragraph 31 of the Sixth Report and Order, the cost of the internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections or managed internal broadband services for the dormitory can come from the associated school’s C2 budget.
Yes, a school’s C2 budget is based on the school’s student count, and therefore it can increase or decrease year to year.
Schools may count part-time students for the purposes of determining the school’s C2 budget. However, schools should include part-time students in their student count only when doing so regularly increases the maximum number of students on the school premises at the same time during the school day. For example, a vocational school that has 100 students in the morning and 100 different students in the afternoon should report a student count of 100. However, students attending after-school activities or after-school events cannot be included in the student counts.
Students who attend a virtual class that originates at a school, but who are not on the school premises, cannot be counted in that school’s student count for the purposes of C2 budgets.
Acceptable third-party documentation of full- and part-time students can include, for example, an official state report or state website indicating the total numbers of full and part-time students, or other types of documentation held by the school or school district that will help ensure a timely review of the indicated student counts.
No, schools with decreasing student counts do not have to repay funding received in prior years in excess of the current year’s budget. There is an exception, however, for new schools, as discussed immediately below.
If you are applying for a new school that has not yet opened, you can determine your C2 budget based on an estimate of the number of students that will attend that school in the upcoming funding year. However, in order to decrease the incentive for schools to overestimate student counts to obtain more funding, these schools will be required to repay USAC in the subsequent funding year for any E-rate Program support received in excess of the available budget based on the actual student enrollment. The school should report the actual student count to USAC within the year. USAC will follow up with the schools to determine their actual student enrollment counts and will seek recovery of funds if necessary.
A new school may request C2 services based on the estimate of 1,000 students, but it will have to repay any support received in excess of available funding based on actual enrollment.
Funding YearStudent CountFive-year Pre-discount BudgetFive-year Post-discount Amount
|2015 (Estimate)||1,000||1,000 * $150 = $150,000||$150,000 * 50% = $75,000|
|2015 (Actual)||800||800 * $150 = $120,000||$120,000 * 50% = $60,000|
For the example above, the school would have to return any committed support above $60,000, which is the C2 post-discount amount based on the actual student population. If the school requested and received commitments for their entire C2 budget based on the estimated student population ($75,000), USAC would then rescind commitments for the difference between the actual and the estimated budget amounts, which in this case would be $15,000.
Yes, a library’s C2 budget is based on the library’s square footage. If a library increases its square footage, its budget can increase.
To determine a library outlet’s C2 budget, add up the total square footage for all floors occupied by the library outlet and enclosed by the outer walls of the library outlet, including those areas off-limits to the public. This is the same floor area collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) annually. Libraries cannot include patios or other outdoor spaces such as parking lots unless they are enclosed by the outer walls of the library.
They should be counted like any other outlet – count the area enclosed by the outer walls of the bookmobile. Generally, bookmobiles would qualify for the funding floor.