On February 8, 2017, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) granted a waiver of certain Category One/Category Two classification standards established in the 2017 Eligible Services List (“ESL”) on its own motion, meaning that it was made without a request from an outside party for waiver. In the 2017 ESL, the Bureau provided a new explanation of how to classify connections between multiple buildings in a single school for purposes of requesting Category One or Category Two support and provided an Appendix B with FAQ on the classification of connections. With regard to multiple buildings, the Bureau clarified that connections between different buildings are eligible for Category One support regardless of whether the buildings are located on the same grounds. Beginning with the 2017 Funding Year, if connections are between instructional buildings of a single school, or non-administrative buildings of a single library located on different campuses belonging to the school or library, they should be classified as Category One. If, however, the connections are between instructional buildings of a single school, or non-administrative buildings of a single library branch that are located on the same campus, they should seek Category Two funding. For schools or libraries that share a single building, the portion of the building used by each would be considered their campus, so the connections between the “campuses” would be considered Category One services.
In the waiver, the Bureau waived the obligation to apply the standards from the ESL to multi-year contracts that had been entered into prior to 2017, if it would cause certain connections to move from being Category Two to Category One. For 2017 applicants, the Bureau waived the requirement to classify connections between different schools and libraries sharing a single building as Category One services. Accordingly, applicants can seek Category Two funding for customer-owned or –controlled inside wiring that connects different schools and libraries within the same building.