The Schools and Library Division announced on March 31 that, starting with the next wave of funding commitments on April 7, it will approve requests for Funding Year 2002 for internal connections down to 81 percent. The SLD said that requests for funding from applicants at the 80 percent discount rate were still pending.
When the SLD had first projected the size of demand for the 2002 funding year, it anticipated that it might be necessary to pro-rate requests from applicants at the 90 percent discount rate. However, last October, it said it had determined that it would be able to support all eligible requests at that discount rate. Since then, applicants with discount rates of between 80 and 89 percent have been forced to wait to find out whether there would be sufficient funds for their requests. In recent weeks, the SLD has rejected several hundred million dollars worth of applicant requests.
Under Federal Communications Commission rules, applicants whose funding commitments are not approved until after March 1, 2003, will have until September 30, 2004 to complete their one-time installations, such as most internal connections projects.