IBM tops the list of companies with the most at stake in the 2002 E-rate funding year, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Funds For Learning, LLC, of funding request data released publicly by the Schools and Libraries Division on July 25.

The data show that schools and libraries have submitted requests totaling $1.071 billion that named IBM as their service provider. Of those internal connections requests, $756 million has been requested by applicants, mostly school districts, seeking funding at the 90 percent discount rate. In fact, the IBM requests would represent 28 percent of the $2.618 billion that the SLD had projected was requested for internal connections by applicants at that discount rate. So far, no funding has been approved for IBM, but applicants have been notified that $72.7 million in requests will not be funded, presumably for applicants with a discount rate of below 80 percent.

The Service Provider Identification Numbers of five major telecom companies—Southwestern Bell Telephone, BellSouth Telecommunications Inc., Pacific Bell, Qwest Corporation, and Verizon-New York Inc.—were next on the list, with total funding requests ranging from $150.4 million to $82.5 million. Because the data was analyzed by individual SPIN number, and some companies use more than one SPIN, the totals for their parent companies could be higher.

Among the top 10 SPINS, the SLD has already rejected the single funding request, for $65.6 million, that was in the name of AADET, Inc. identified on the SLD's BEAR/SPIN list as a Valley City, ND, company. According to the SLD data, the funding request was rejected because 'A significant portion of the FRN is a request for an ineligible entity, Praxis Institute, which is not eligible to receive funds based on the program rules for eligible entities."

Praxis Institute also turned up on the list of the applicants requesting the largest amounts. Its three funding requests, totaling $77.8 million, have already been rejected by the SLD.

The applicant requesting the largest amount was the New York City Board of Education, seeking $486 million in funding requests, followed by the Dallas Independent School District seeking $120.8 million and the Fort Worth Independent School District, seeking $88.8 million. Five other districts are seeking more than $60 million—the Chicago Public Schools, the Cleveland City School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Houston Independent School District and New Haven Public School District.

The SLD has not issued a decision on the bulk of those requests, because they involve internal connections. The SLD must first determine how much funding it has left after fulfilling all eligible requests for telecommunications services and Internet access, and then to what extent it will be able to support internal connections requests.