The Schools and Libraries Division Jan. 28 began processing another $192 million worth of commitments to 3,400 school and library applicants.
The latest wave of funding commitments means that the SLD has committed a total of more than $620 million to 17,000 applicants. That means that only about one-third of the available funds have been distributed to more than half of the number of E-rate applicants.
Still to come are responses to some of the biggest, most complex applications, including those organized by consortia. The SLD has said that the size of the average funding commitment will rise with the final waves.
The SLD expects to process another wave on Jan. 31, and then two more in February. It has pledged to the Federal Communications Commission that all of the commitments will be processed by Feb. 15. Because the deadline for filing the Form 470 within this year's filing window is Feb. 10, some applicants will have to file their applications for the 1999-2000 funding year before they know where they stand for the 1998 year.
This week the SLD said it would not be able to provide commitments for internal connections to applicants with discount rates of 61 percent or below, but that it would be able to support applicants with rates of 77 percent or above.