P. O. BOX 2120
November 20, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Universal Service (E-Rate) Window

          On Friday October 2, the Schools and Libraries
     Corporation (SLC) announced a new filing window of 80
     days for schools wishing to participate in the
     Universal Service, E-Rate discount program. The window
     will open December 1, 1998, and close February 19,
     1999. Applications filed during this period will cover
     discounts for services received from July 1, 1999,
     through June 30, 2000. 

          Current program rules call for discounts of 20 to
     90 percent off all telecommunications services and
     Internet access for all public and private schools.
     Discounts for Internal wiring will be allocated to the
     highest discount applicants until funds are exhausted.
     Discount rates are based on the percentage of students
     eligible for the National School Lunch Program.

          Schools wishing to receive discounts must submit
     two forms within the 80-day filing window - forms 470
     and 471. Form 470 identifies the applicant, the
     technology the applicant currently has, and services
     the applicant plans to order. The form 470 must be
     posted on the SLC website for 28 days before an
     applicant may sign a contract for services. After the
     28-day posting period, applicants may sign contracts
     for services and submit form 471 to the SLC. Form 471
     is a request for discounts and requires applicants to
     have a signed contract, to calculate their discount
     rates, and provide other information. This window will
     only cover goods and services received between July 1,
     1999, and June 30, 2000. Both forms are available and
     may be submitted online at 

          Representatives from the Schools and Libraries
     Corporation will attend the Virginia Technology
     Leadership Conference on December 9 and 10 in Roanoke
     to answer questions about applications and the program.
     School representatives may bring applications to the
     conference for assistance from SLC representatives.
     Information on the Technology Leadership Conference is
     available from the Department of Education website: 


          Funding commitment letters are expected to be
     mailed soon. After letters are received, two additional
     forms must be submitted before payments or discounts
     can begin - the form 486 and the form 472 (BEAR).
     Instructions on those forms were covered during the
     Department of Education's E-rate teleconference on
     September 28. Virginia schools and libraries submitted
     more than 500 applications requesting more than $35
     million in discounts for the 1998 funding year. 

          If you have questions about the funding commitment
     letters, please call the SLC at (888) 203-8100 or visit
     the SLC website at  The SLC
     representatives attending the Technology Leadership
     Conference December 9 and 10 will also help with these
     forms. The Department of Education contact for E-rate
     information is Greg Weisiger at (804) 692-0335.