As lawmakers step up their scrutiny of the eRate (see Page One), the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co.—the agency that administers the program—says it is taking steps to crack down on reported cases of waste, fraud, and abuse.

On March 10, the SLD denied nearly $590 million in 2002 applications for alleged rules violations. The agency also is forming a task force to study the issue of abuse, and it attributes a decline in 2003 applications to its improved enforcement efforts.

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