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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Entities on the move

I have ranted more than once about the use of the word "entity" in the E-Rate program. A November 2010 News Brief tried (but mostly failed) to explain the difference between "entity number" and "billed entity number."

I just noticed a new muddying of the water. On Item 5c of the new Form 470, applicants are asked to put the number of "eligible entities" covered by the Form 470. The instructions give examples of eligible entities, including elementary schools, bus barns, library branches, bookmobiles, ... (insert sound of record scratching here). Bookmobiles?! Does this mean bookmobiles get entity numbers? Or are there eligible entities that do not require entity numbers?

I'll say it again: the term "entity" should be struck from the E-Rate lexicon. The meaning of the word has become irreparably muddied.

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