Preliminary results from the funding year 2020 E-rate filing window are in and the news is encouraging. 11,597 applicants submitted requests for Category 2 funding projects. That is the highest number of applicants ever to have submitted funding requests for on-campus discounts in a single funding year. The pre-discount amount of these projects is $1,599,277,667, which is the highest pre-discount for Category 2 discounts demand since 2015.
For Category 1 services, which includes Internet access and data services, the total pre-discount expense continued its decline, apparently driven by lower bandwidth charges (i.e. price per megabit). However, early indications suggest that the pricing may have reached a relative low point and that in future years increased bandwidth may drive the overall costs of Category 1 services up again.
Overall, demand appears robust. Despite the turmoil experienced by many schools and libraries in March and April 2020, it appears that this filing window was a success for many applicants. On May 7th Funds For Learning presented its preliminary report of the funding year 2020 filing window. A recording of the presentation is available here.
Below are additional charts and tables about the funding year 2020 filing window.