The Universal Service Administrative Company notified the Federal Communications Commission August 2 that it anticipates it will have an additional $180 million worth of E-rate funding available to roll over to support applications in the 2005 funding year.
USAC had previously notified the FCC that it would have an additional $150 million in unused funds available to support applications from 2004 and $420 million available to support applications from 2003.
In calculating the available roll-over for the application cycle that will start this fall, USAC plans to draw $20 million left over from 1999, $10 million left over from 2000, $50 million left over from 2001 and $100 million left over from 2002 for a total, as of this writing, of $180 million. The SLD is retaining a contingency of $299 million for potentially successful appeals and invoice deadline extension requests for the 2002 funding year. Earlier this year, several large school districts were permitted to refile their 2002 applications following an appeals decision by the FCC.
For the past few years, the FCC has permitted the Schools and Libraries Division to commit more than the traditional $2.25 billion cap on disbursements in recognition that applicants were not ultimately using all of the disbursements that had been approved for them. As of August 6, applicants have used only about 64 percent of the $2.192 billion that was approved for them for the 2002 funding year, and 23 percent of the $2.613 billion that has been committed for the 2003 funding year. Another $423 million in funding requests for 2003 are still pending—more than a month after the end of the 2003 funding year.