The Schools and Libraries Division announced July 17 that it will begin issuing funding commitments for the E-rate program's fourth year on Monday July 23. The SLD said the wave would represent $395.3 million worth of commitments, the largest in the program's history.
The SLD said the wave would include denials of requests for internal connections at discount percentages of 84 percent or less. However, the division said it still did not know whether it would be able to fund all of the internal connections requests at the 90 percent discount rate, much less set the ultimate threshold lower than that. If it cannot support all of the internal connections requests at 90 percent, the agency will pro-rate the available funds among all applicants qualifying at that rate. Some applicants at the 90 percent rate will receive notification in the first wave that their requests are "as yet unfunded." When the SLD can determine what they will be able to receive, they will receive a second funding commitment letter. The SLD said no commitment letters would be issued in the first wave for internal connections requests involving applicants with discount rates of 85 to 89 percent.
The SLD reminded applicants that they must use a new Form 486, dated July 2001, when they notify the SLD that they have begun to receive services. The SLD said it expects the new form will be available on Monday July 23 on the SLD Web site at www.sl.universalservice.org/form. The new form incorporates language required because of the requirements of the new Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Because of those requirements, the SLD said that in this year only, applicants will be able to file their Form 486 before services actually start, if they have confirmed they will begin receiving services before Oct. 28, 2001, the deadline for their certification of their compliance with CIPA.