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SLD to Fund All 90 Percent Internal Connections Requests

The Schools and Libraries Division has announced that it will be able to fund all eligible requests for internal connections from applicants with discount rates of 90 percent.

In a wave that will be released next week, the SLD will begin issuing funding commitments for internal connections for the program's fourth year.

Based on the level of demand that the SLD projected after the Year 4 filing window closed, there was some concern that applicants at the 90 percent discount rate might be forced to settle for only a portion of the money they requested. That situation led the Federal Communications Commission to propose withholding Year 4 funding for internal connections from anyone who had received it in Year 3. The FCC abandoned that idea after E-rate stakeholders urged the commission not to change the priority rules in the middle of the application process.

The SLD provided no further guidance on the status of internal connections requests from applicants with discount rates of between 85 and 89 percent.

According to an unofficial source, Wave 4 will represent about $400 million worth of commitments-the largest wave so far. With that wave, the SLD will have committed about half of the funds that it has available to commit-exceeding the pace of commitments it has been able to achieve in earlier funding years.

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