Year two funding update
On Oct. 29, the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) released its 17th wave of year two funding commitment letters, bringing the total dollar amount committed in year two to $1.57 billion. According to the SLD, there most likely would be three more waves to follow, with the last wave of letters to be issued on Friday, Nov. 19.
Year three deadline
With the third-year application window set to close Jan. 19, the last possible date you could file a Form 470 for new services and have those services be eligible for eRate funding would be Dec. 29, since Forms 470 must be posted to the SLD’s web site for 28 days before a contract can be signed and a Form 471 can be filed. Don’t wait until the last minute to file your Form 470, though–be sure to give yourself a few extra days’ cushion to account for the unexpected (problems in delivery, etc.).
New eligible services list
Make sure you consult the SLD’s updated list of eligible and ineligible services before you apply for year three funding. The new list clears up some of the gray areas based on the first two years of the program. Some of the highlights include:
Directory listing: Fees for an additional directory listing, an unlisted number, or an unpublished number are not eligible.
Interactive television: Only the facilities or communications paths used for Interactive TV, and inside cabling or wiring, are eligible. Set top boxes, cable modems, televisions, and other equipment are not eligible.
Call accounting systems: Not eligible.
Call sequencers: Not eligible.
Video coder/decoder (CODEC): Not eligible.
PBX or centrex console: Eligible.
Coupler: If it’s part of the installation of coax cable, then the coupler is eligible. If it’s part of the installation of cable television service, the coupler is not eligible.
Multiplexer: If provided as part of internal connections for a local area network, it is eligible. If provided as part of a wide area network, it must meet the rules governing WANs.
For a complete listing, visit http://www.sl.universalservice.org/Reference/eligible.asp.