The eRate program, designed to help schools and libraries pay for access to the internet, staggered in mid-June under a barrage of criticism from telecommunications companies (telcos), consumer groups, and certain members of Congress. But as the clock ticked toward the deadline for authorizing 1998 funding for the program, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chief William Kennard appeared to have the votes to save the eRate.

At press time, sources inside the FCC said the five-member commission would fund the program, but at a lower dollar amount than the total requested by schools and libraries....

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