Over 30,000 Form 470 applications were posted to the SLD's website between July 1, 2007 and January 10, 2008, according to an analysis by Funds For Learning. These forms, which were designated as "2008" applications, are the beginning of the procurement process for the upcoming E-rate year which begins on July 1, 2008.
Applicants are not required to post a Form 470 application each year if they are using a State Master Contract which was established based on a Form 470 application; or if the applicant has entered into a multi-year agreement with a service provider and indicated such on the contract's establishing Form 470.
The Form 470 allows the E-rate applicant to describe the services or products that it wishes to procure with E-rate discounts. If the applicant is issuing a Request For Proposals (or RFP) in concert with the Form 470 application, it must be noted on the form as well.
The number of Forms posted for 2008 is only slightly higher than those posted for the same period for Funding Year 2007. For the 2007 Funding Year, 30,405 Form 470 applications were posted, while 30,595 were posted for Funding Year 2008.
E-rate applicants must accept bids and proposals from interested service providers for at least 28 days from the date their Form 470 is posted to the SLD's website before selecting a service provider. To be eligible to be included in a Funding Year 2008 request, a Form 470 must have been posted on or before January 10, 2008. If an applicant posted a form on that date, it would have one day–February 7, 2008–to evaluate all of the bids and proposals received, select the service providers, sign contract or service agreements, and complete, submit, and certify its Form 471 application for funding.