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Schools and Libraries Committee Takes Action on 2004 Internal Connections Threshold

The Schools and Libraries Committee of the Universal Service Administrative Company December 16 instructed the Schools and Libraries Division to prepare to issue 2004 E-rate funding commitments for eligible internal connections requests from applicants with discount rates of as low as 81 percent. The authorization is contingent on approval by the Federal Communications Commission and President Bush signing legislation to exempt USAC from the Anti-Deficiency Act for a year. Both of those actions are expected.

The threshold could still drop further as the SLD continues its review of applications for 2004.

USAC Vice President George McDonald told the committee that the SLD's next wave will be "sizeable." He said that the wave would not be issued until the president signs HR 5419, the legislation that will permit the Schools and Libraries Division, for the time being, to continue approving funding commitments as it has in the past.

When applicants submit their Form 471 applications for the 2005 funding year, they will be expected to identify those funding requests that are duplicated on an application from an earlier year and that are still pending.

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