Any applicant or service provider who is convicted of criminal violations of eRate policies or held civilly liable for eRate misconduct will be banned from participating in the program for three or more years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled April 23 at an open meeting in Washington, D.C.

The commission also ruled that wireless connectivity is eligible for full eRate funding.

The agency's decision regarding so-called 'bad actors' comes as allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse threaten to derail the $2.25 billion-a-year program, which provides telecommunications discounts to


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