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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mining the E-Rate data

Slow day in the exhibit booth today, so I've been playing with some numbers from the 2004-2005 program year. I didn't notice anything earth-shattering, but I did notice some trends that might be interesting to the E-Rate-obsessed.

First, New York, Texas and California take a disproportionate amount of E-Rate funding. With only about one fifth of the country's population, they get about 40% of the E-Rate funding. New York state only makes the big-time because of New York City, which by itself take's about 10% of the nation's funding (with less than 3% of the nation's population).

Second, I looked at whether funding was affected by the type of applicant. I didn't see any surprises: libraries and consortia get a greater percentage of their funding approved, but mostly because they request less Priority Two funding. Schools do, though, have a noticeably lower approval percentage than the other applicant types. That doesn't surprise me: in my experience, individual schools are more likely to make errors, and are more often preyed upon by unscrupulous service providers. (Looking for fraud? Look for a service provider mentioned only in FRNs for parochial and charter schools.)

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