Capping more than seven months of anticipation and frustration since the first eRate application window closed on April 15, the Schools and Libraries Corp. (SLC) issued its first two waves of funding commitment letters to about 6,300 schools and libraries--roughly 20 percent of applicants. The letters, which were sent Nov. 23 and Dec. 7, allocated more than $148 million in eRate funds.

"This is a big moment for all of us...," said Kate Moore, SLC's acting chief executive officer. "We're seeing the real beginnings of the program now--it's real, it's happening, there's a great need...

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