The Schools and Libraries Division formally announced Sept. 28 that E-rate applicants will be able to use the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form through to June 30, 2000, the end of the second funding year.
The SLD said that although it had hoped to dispense with the BEAR forms this year, the late arrival of Year 2 Funding Commitment Decisions Letters and
the inability of some service providers' billing systems to discount bills required it to permit the use of the forms for the rest of the year. Through
last week, the SLD had issued funding commitments for only about a third of the funds it has available to commit this year.
For telecommunications services and Internet access, service providers can choose whether they want to provide discounted bills or have their customers use the BEAR process. For internal connections, that choice is up to the applicant.
The SLD recommended that applicants file quarterly BEAR forms, if possible, by these dates: Oct. 29, 1999, Jan. 31, 2000, April 28, 2000 and Nov. 20, 2000. Nov. 20, 2000 will be the last date that the SLD said it will accept a service provider invoice or BEAR form covering the second funding year.