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FCC Seeks Comment on Use of E-Rate Funding for Additional Network Security Services

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau is seeking comment on petitions to permit the use of E-Rate funding for advanced or next-generation firewalls and other network security services.  Currently, E-Rate program funding may be used for basic firewall services; however, the Commission has declined to extend basic firewall services to include anti-virus and anti-spam software, intrusion protection and intrusion prevention devices, and other services that protect networks.  The Commission also removed virtual private networks (VPN) and other data protection services from the E-Rate eligible services list.  Given that schools have increased use of broadband networks to provide remote learning to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, several E-Rate stakeholders submitted petitions requesting that the Commission reconsider the eligibility of such services.  Comments are due February 13 and reply comments are due March 30

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