The Schools and Libraries Division announced on October 30 that the FCC has approved a new version of the Form 471. The latest version of the form incorporates a recent revision in the methods libraries use to calculate their discount rate in the E-rate program. Under the new method, a library’s discount will be based on a simple average of individual school discount rates, rather than a weighted one. This change in calculation methods is likely to increase the discount rate for some libraries and decrease it for others. The method is explained in the new Form 471 Instructions, also released.
Other changes to the Form 471 include the removal of Privacy Act language. This action results from a recent FCC Freedom of Information Act case in which the agency ruled that the Privacy Act does not apply to the information that applicants provide on this form. Also, the new paper form will be in a new “scannable" format, which SLD officials hope will enable them to process forms faster. The online version of the new Form 471 will not be available until the opening of the Form 471 application filing window on November 4, 2002.
The new Form 471 is available on the SLD website by clicking here.