Schools and libraries are actively seeking proposals for E-rate eligible goods and services. February 22, 2022, is the deadline to post a Form 470 notifying vendors that proposals are being requested, and there currently is robust demand for bids from potential service providers.
Each year, school and library applicants must seek new bids for expiring contracts and non-contracted monthly services. In the current 2021 funding year, there are a total of 21,719 service agreements set to expire: 10,287 for internet and data connection services (i.e., Category 1 services), and 11,575 for on-campus Wi-fi and networking (i.e., Category 2 services).
Applicants have already posted 21,809 Forms 470 seeking new agreements. This is more than the number of expiring contracts, with hundreds of additional postings still anticipated by the February 22 deadline. Driving the competition is demand for new Category 1 service agreements, for which 10,991 Forms 470 have already been posted. Still strong, but lagging somewhat, is demand for Category 2 service agreements, for which 10,818 Forms 470 have been posted.
It is expected that the number of Forms 470 will increase sharply over the next few days as applicants post their final RFPs and Forms 470, particularly for Category 2 goods and services. Schools and libraries who have not yet released their bid requests are encouraged to do so immediately. Those who fail to seek bids in a timely manner risk missing the March 22, 2022, deadline to submit E-rate funding requests for the next fiscal year.