Schools and Libraries Division President Kate Moore announced April 23 that the bulk of funding commitments for E-rate applications filed outside of the Year Two filing window would be processed this week, with funding commitment letters scheduled to go out on April 27.
Moore told the quarterly meeting of the Schools and Libraries Committee that the first wave would commit about $150 million worth of support, with one or two smaller waves distributed after that. These funds would presumably cover Year 2 applications that were filed after April 6, 1999, when the filing window closed, up through the end of a "mini-window" that ran during the month of March 2000. The Schools and Libraries Committee approved the issuance of the funding commitments on March 30, 2001.
At the meeting, it was disclosed that the SLD believes it will have $49 million in unspent Year Two funds that could be rolled over, even before it includes funds that were committed but not spent. It was also reported that in Year Two, another $450 million of uncommitted funds went unspent, based on the payments processed through March 31, 2001, by which time all payments not involving an appeal or a waiver were supposed to be made. That amount was comparable to the funding that went unspent in Year One.
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission solicited comments on a petition that had called for the FCC to roll over unspent Year One funds. Those funds have since been used to reduce the assessments on carriers that contribute to the Universal Service Fund. The FCC is soliciting comments through April 26 on the petition.