Seeking a better understanding of the rules governing the $2.25 billion-a-year federal eRate program, more than 200 members of the school, library, and vendor communities gathered in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30 for a day-long intensive workshop.

The event, sponsored by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), which oversees the school wiring program for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aimed to put applicants on the path to compliance and streamline a process that some critics have branded slow, cumbersome, and inefficient.

Despite USAC's best efforts to explain


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