USAC has reported that it should begin issuing FY 2008 commitments for 90% discount requests in the Priority Two categories within a few weeks. This information was shared with attendees of July’s SLD Service Provider Call.
At this time, the SLD is continuing to issue only Priority One funding commitments to applicants for the 2008 Funding Year, which began on July 1.
Each request for E-rate funding falls into one of four service categories—Telecommunications Services, Internet Access Services, Internal Connections, or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Requests in the Telecommunications and Internet Access service categories are given priority over other requests and are called “Priority One” requests. Requests in the remaining categories are assigned a “Priority Two” designation.
The SLD must set aside money for all of the ‘potentially fundable’ Priority One requests received within the application period for a given funding year. Any remaining available money for Priority Two requests is committed to those applicants with the highest discount rate. Priority Two requests are funding for each discount rate percentage until available funding is depleted for the year.
The amount of funding available for a funding year can increase from the allotted $2.25 Billion from the Universal Service Fund for the E-rate program. Unused funds from previous funding years are typically made available to supplement the amount of available funding each year. The SLD is also allowed to issue commitments in excess of actual available funding based on estimated under-utilization by applicants each year.