Through the seventh wave of Year Two funding commitment letters, issued Aug. 20, the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. has sent out more than 14,000 letters committing nearly $480 million in funds.
The SLD expects waves of funding commitment letters to last throughout the month of September, but can’t say exactly when they will be completed. Less than one-fourth of the total eRate funding for Year Tweo has been committed since the SLD began to issue letters in mid-July.
The average amount per funded application has been $32,860 so far, but this average amount should increase as the SLD continues to address more applications requesting internal connections (the lowest priority for funding).
School districts have received the bulk of the awards, with $382 million, or nearly 80 percent, of funding going to districts. Individual school applicants have received $47 million in funding, libraries have received $17 million, and consortia have received $33 million in funding.
Of the $480 million committed so far, $175 million has been for telecommunications services, $30 million for internet access, and $275 million for internal connections.
Applicants who qualify for discounts of 90 percent have received $131 million in discounts, or 27 percent of the funding, so far; those who qualify for 80 percent discounts have received $186 million, or 39 percent of funding.
Urban applicants have received $361 million, or 75 percent of funding, so far; rural applicants have received $118 million, or 25 percent.
So far, no funds for internal connections have reached applicants who qualify for discounts below 70 percent.
As of Aug. 20, some applicants still hadn’t gotten a Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RALLY) from the SLD notifying them that their applications had been received.
According to Jodie Pozo Olano, deputy director of communications, the agency is just now finishing data entry on the last few applications and RALLY letters are “nearly out the door.”