eRate filing date set - November 14

Schools and libraries can begin applying for eRate grants starting Nov. 14. Deadline is Feb. 7. After some rocky years, officials promise a streamlined and cleaned-up program.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

On November 14, schools and libraries can begin applying for 2007 eRate technology discounts, the FCC recently announced. Applications must be received by Feb. 7, 2007. The FCC also announced the annual Eligible Services List (ESL), the official roster of technologies and services that qualify for eRate discounts, eSchool News.

As we noted a few weeks ago, the FCC has made changes to address problems stemming from fraud and difficulty in applying for the $2.25 million technology grants.

"In general, applicants will be happy with the changes and clarifications made by the FCC," said Scott Weston, director of information services for Funds for Learning LLC, a national eRate consulting firm.

Voice over Internet Protocol ( VoIP) has been added to the list of eligible services, as well as "keyboard-video-mouse." A KVM device enables users to control more than one computer using a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

While some new technologies have been added to the roster, others have become ineligible.

"... [A]ny technology components "installed in standby mode, redundant, not active and online, or otherwise not an essential element in the transmission of information within the school or library ... are not eligible."

More information is available from the Universal Service Administrative Company.

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