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SLD Begins Approving Internal Connections at 70 Percent Discount Level

The Schools and Libraries Division issued its second wave of commitments for the 1999 funding year July 16 and announced that it would be able to fund internal connections requests at least down to the 70 percent discount level.

Last year, the SLD matched that same discount rate for internal connections, but not so early in the commitment process. The ultimate threshold could drop lower as the SLD continues to process applications.

Under the E-rate program's rules, all eligible requests for telecommunications services and Internet access are funded and then internal connections requests are supported for the neediest applicants first. Eventually, the SLD will set a threshold at a single percentage point; applicants with discount rates below that point will be ineligible for support for internal connections.

The second funding wave distributed approximately $15 million worth of commitments to about 1,000 applicants. Since the SLD began making commitments for the 1999-2000 funding year last week, it has committed 4.6 percent of the $2.25 billion it has available for schools and libraries this year. The SLD is now issuing its waves on a weekly basis, and posting the notices to its Web site.

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