Verizon has agreed to pay $17.7 million to resolve parallel FCC and Justice Department investigations into possible violations of competitive bidding rules for E-Rate subsidies, which help deliver broadband to schools and libraries.
The settlement stems from an investigation into Verizon's involvement in the program's use by the New York school district, the FCC said in a statement (PDF) Tuesday. Verizon will also forfeit any legal rights to hundreds of millions of dollars in undisbursed Universal Service Fund E-rate monies.
The FCC said the settlement was reached in May under the commission's previous chairman but its announcement was withheld until the Justice Department's investigation could also be resolved.
"This is an important measure that both enforces our rules and restores critical taxpayer dollars to the Universal Service Fund," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
Verizon said "today's settlements fairly resolve years of work by Verizon and the government to return funding to the program." Verizon also noted it was a victim of fraud in the case and helped convict the former employee who conceived of the scheme without the company's knowledge.
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