E-rate funding requests highest since 2002

The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as E-rate, received the highest requested amount since 2002. The $4.3 billion in requests for Funding Year 2011 is a 10 percent increase from 2010, according to analysis from E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning.

This increase comes on the heels of a year wrought with substantial changes to the E-rate program, highlighted with the FCC Sixth Report and Order. Major program changes included new applicant forms, changes in eligibility to certain internal connections and basic maintenance requests, and indexing the funding cap to inflation.