In an important change that comes two months after schools already applied for FY2009 e-Rate discounts, intranet web hosting has been classified as e-Rate eligible beginning with the FY2009 program year.

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), the outfit that manages the $2.25 billion-a-year federal e-Rate program, announced the rule change April 10, more than eight weeks after the FY2009 filing window closed.

In previous years, the portion of the cost of web hosting services that paid for access to intranet or password-protected web sites has not been eligible for e-Rate coverage. That meant applicants


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