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First Wave of E-rate Letters Will Be Sent Soon

A top official of the Schools and Libraries Corporation told a vendor conference in Dallas Nov. 11 that the first wave of E-rate Funding Commitment Decisions Letters will be sent out the week of Nov. 16.

General Counsel Debra Kriete told the conference that no more than 5,000 letters would be sent in the first wave, but that it would be another three weeks before the second wave of letters would be distributed. Kriete said there would be four to five waves before the job was finished, and that most of the letters would be sent out after Nov. 30.

The SLC has said that E-rate applicants will receive one letter for every Form 471 they submitted, which means the SLC will have to mail out about 30,000 letters. It is expected that the last applicants to be notified will be those who sought support for internal connections, but were eligible for less than the highest discounts. After supporting all requests for telecommunications services and Internet access, the SLC will award the remaining funds for internal connections, starting with the neediest applicants.

The filing window for the 1999-2000 funding year is scheduled to start Dec. 1. The SLC has indicated that it will extend the length of the filing window from its current 80 days so that applicants can find out what they will receive or the current funding year before they have to apply for the second.

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