The number of applicants seeking bids for Wi-Fi projects in a single week reached a record level this past week. The count of Form 470 competitive bid requests posted for Wi-Fi and other on-campus networking (a.k.a. Category Two E-rate discounts) was 1,714. That was a new record count of forms, beating the previous record of 1,712, which only was set the prior week. In fact, the past four weeks have seen record numbers of Form 470s for Category Two goods and services. The table below shows the top ten weeks of the past decade for Category Two Form 470s. Four of the top six weeks came in the past month.
This level of activity indicates that applicants are aware of the unique funding opportunity available for Category Two discounts in funding year 2020. It also foreshadows a rush of E-rate Category Two funding requests at the close of the Form 471 filing window. Applicants are encouraged to complete their Form 470 competitive bidding documents as soon as possible. The last day to file a Form 470 and still have the potential to meet the 28-day bidding requirement is February 26, 2020.