The Schools and Libraries Division announced late January 7 that on January 11 it will issue 2,670 commitment letters, totaling more than $510 million worth of E-rate funding commitments for the 2004 funding year. Details of the specific commitments included in Wave 11 will be made widely available later this week.
This latest wave, the first after legislation was signed to enable the SLD to resume its traditional practices of issuing funding commitments, will bring the volume of approved commitments for 2004 to $1.6 billion. The wave will also include, for the first time, approved funding commitments for internal connections from applicants with discount rates of as low as 81 percent.
The SLD also noted that it will be permitted to disburse $2.4 billion worth of discounts in 2004, thanks to an additional $150 million in unused funds from the 2001 funding year that it can make available. In recent years, the SLD has actually approved a higher level of commitments, recognizing that many applicants would ultimately not use their approved commitments. So far, the SLD has committed more than $2.5 billion for the 2003 funding year, with about $274 million in requests still pending.