As of February 5, 2015, 10,151 of these notifications have been posted to the USAC website. By comparison, in the same time frame in 2014, there had been 5,948 Forms 470 posted for Category 2 goods and services. This surge in posting began as the FCC announced its plans to increase the annual E-rate funding cap from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion.
The number of Category 2 Forms 470 had been on a downward trajectory over the past decade. Category 2 refers to the necessary on-campus infrastructure, maintenance and other services designed to connect students and library patrons to the Internet. As fewer and fewer E-rate dollars were available to support these types of projects, many applicants stopped seeking bids for this work. Now that the FCC has made clear its support for on-campus connectivity, it is evident that a record number of applicants are seeking to award bids and seek discounts for Category 2 projects.