During the first cycle of funded proposals for the Universal Service Fund (e-rate), 185 Arkansas school districts, regional service cooperatives, and state agencies have received funding and or reimbursements in excess of $8.6 million. (Additional funding waves are anticipated over the next few weeks.) This represents a major savings to local schools on the cost of telephone, telecommunications and networking charges. These savings can be used by the districts to purchase other technology related equipment and materials.
Cycle II applications for the period July 1, 1999, through June 30, 2000, are being accepted by the Schools and Libraries Division; however, the deadline for submitting applications within the window is rapidly approaching. March 5, 1999, is the last date that Form 470 can be filed on the Web and be assured that the application process can be completed by the closing date - April 6, 1999. The application process requires filing Form 470, waiting 28 days for bids from vendors, and completing Form 471 which notifies vendors and the Schools and Libraries Division.
Schools can apply for three types of discounts: (1) discounted local and long distance telephone services; (2) discount on Internet services; and (3) discount on internal connectivity - wiring and internal connections.
Please refer to the Schools and Libraries Division Web address (slcfund.org) for additional information and for access to the application forms.