The SLD reported to the FCC today that the FY 2007 demand estimate is $3.69 billion. This estimate is based on all requests that were timely filed within the filing window and includes the applications where the SLD is still waiting for the certifications. Due to the “Bishop Perry Order” it is possible that there will be fewer denials for administrative or technical errors that can be easily corrected.
The FCC has created rules with the intent to allow more applicants access to the internal connections dollars. For example, equipment needs to be at a particular site for a three year period before it can be moved or transferred to another location unless the site closes. The FCC has stated that school districts need to plan on how they will implement their internal connections projects because of the two-in-five rule. Funding Year 2007 will be the first year where schools will receive denials because of this rule change. If applicants requested and received internal connections commitments in FY 2005 and FY 2006 then those same sites can not receive E-rate support until FY 2010. Due to these and other rule changes applicants and service providers alike are hopeful that the priority two discount threshold will drop below the 80% discount band in FY 2007.
As the E-rate program has evolved, so has E-rate Manager. There is a new tool within E-rate Manager that will make it easy for schools and service providers to track which sites have requested and received internal connections dollars since FY 2005.
View the USAC FY 2007 Demand Estimate.