The Schools and Libraries Division reported to the Federal Communications Commission April 7 that it had projected that E-rate applicants had requested a total of $4.278 billion worth of funding requests for the 2004 funding year, slightly less than had been requested in 2003.
The SLD said it projected that applicants had requested $2.677 billion worth of discounts on internal connections, $1.273 billion worth of discounts on telecommunications services and $326 million worth of discounts on Internet access. The figure for telecommunications services was about $100 million more than in the current tally of requests for 2003, while the other categories dropped by about $80 to $90 million each.
The SLD projected that applicants eligible for a 90 percent discount rate requested $1.3 billion worth of discounts on internal connections, while applicants eligible for discounts in the 80 percent band requested $1.060 billion worth of discounts on internal connections. Applicants eligible for the 70 percent band requested $100 million worth of discounts.
For the 2003 funding year, with a similar level of demand, the SLD was ultimately able to fund internal connections requests for all applicants above the 70 percent threshold. In early May, the Universal Service Administrative Company will update for the FCC the total amount that it expects to be able to “roll over” to support applications in 2004.