The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co., the agency that administers the eRate, said Dec. 3 it is denying a "sizeable number" of 2002 applications that list a certain service provider because they allegedly violate the program's competitive-bidding requirements.

SLD spokesman Mel Blackwell confirmed for eSchool News that the service provider in question is IBM Corp. IBM is listed on applications requesting more than $1 billion in 2002 eRate funding, according to eRate consulting firm Funds for Learning LLC, but Blackwell said it's unclear at this point how many of

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