Schools and Libraries Program (E-rate)

The Universal Service Administration Company’s (USAC) Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program, helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain high-speed Internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates. Each year, the E-rate program offers over $3.9 billion to bring internet services to classrooms and libraries, providing discounts ranging from 20 to 90 percent to eligible schools and libraries on eligible products and services.

How can we help?

Linn Benton Lincoln ESD offers a variety of E-rate services to help take the stress off of navigating the E-rate process and to maximize the funding you receive. LBL can assist districts to apply for and track E-rate funding, while helping to make sure each district stays in compliance with program rules. Our Application Services include assisting applicants through the entire lifecycle of the E-rate application process as well as provid-ing staff training and yearly reports on your E-rate funding. We also offer Additional Services that include District Needs Assessments, Project Management, and Audit Support.

E-rate News

E-rate RFPs

Application Services

Form Preparation
(FCC Forms 470, 471, 486, 472, 500)
Create E-rate related forms (Applicant will need to certify).
RFP Review/Guidance
Assist with development of RFPs or review of district created RFPs (Applicant will need to define products and services requested and post RFP).
Contract Review/Guidance
Review contracts for clear and concise language and dates to reduce problems during the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Review process.
PIA, Program Quality Assurance (PQA) and Selective Review Draft Responses
Draft responses to inquiries from USAC and meet with USAC staff in the event of a PQA site visit.
Review Invoices for Eligibility
Review vendor provided invoices to review for any costs that are not eligible for E-rate reimbursement.
Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) Change Requests
Complete the necessary paperwork to request a SPIN Change, if requested by district.
Document Retention and Management
Retain and categorize all documentation pertaining to the E-rate Program for a minimum of 10 years that LBLESD collects or produces as it works on applications.
Data and Calculations
Calculate Discount Rates.
Asset Tracking
Assisting in documenting and tracking equipment purchased using E-rate funds.
Status Reports
Email reports to keep districts up to date on progress of applications.
Deadline Management
Track applications and communicate deadlines.
Vendor Evaluation Guidance
Provide clear vendor evaluation guidelines that meet State and E-rate requirements.
Contract Management
Track E-rate related contracts for expiration dates and need for extensions or RFP postings.
Funding Commitment Decisions Letter (FCDL) Review
Review funding commitment and communicate findings and suggest next steps for districts.
Service Substitution Requests
Complete the necessary paperwork to request a Service Substitution, if requested by applicant.
Appeal Support
Complete the necessary paperwork to file an appeal, if requested by district.
Entity Management in E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) System
Update entity information in the EPC System during the E-rate Administrative Window.
Category Two Budget Management
Track 5-year allocations of Category Two Budgets and update on an annual basis.
Determine Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Compliance
Review documentation to make sure the district is CIPA compliant.
Yearly Funding Reports
Produce detailed annual report of applications, funding and revenue received.

Additional Services

District Needs Assessment
LBL Network Staff will, assess district needs, define project requirements, and prepare report to develop RFPs.
Audit Support
Provide support during the audit process including talking to auditors and assisting in documentation collection.
Project Management
LBL staff with work with Service Providers to verify that the project is completed on time, correct equipment is received and installed, project is within budget, and project scope changes remain eligible for reimbursement.
Program Compliance Review
Review past year’s documentation to make sure it is in compliance with E-rate rules.
E-rate Training
Provide training to district staff:
Overview - Two hour high-level overview of the E-rate Process.
In Depth - Full day training on the different aspects of the E-rate program.
Other - Specialized training requested by Districts.

Program information

The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program provides discounts to assist eligible schools and libraries to obtain affordable internet access and telecommunications services. E-rate funds four service types: Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts range from 20-90 percent of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status at the school district level.

Who is eligible for E-rate?

For purposes of universal service support, schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 7801(18) and (38)):

An elementary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.

A secondary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that such term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

The eligibility of Non-Traditional Students and facilities is determined by the state's definition of an elementary or secondary school.

Oregon Student Eligibility

Student TypeEligible
Traditional K-12 Students
K-12 Charter School Students
K-12 Private School Students
Pre-K Students
Adult Education Students
Juvenile Justice Students
Special Education Students Ages 3-21
Special Education Students over Age 21

Oregon Facility Eligibility

Institution TypeCategory One EligibleCategory Two Eligible
Traditional K-12 Schools
District Non Instructional Facilities
K-12 Charter Schools
K-12 Private Schools
Pre-K Schools
Adult Education Schools
Juvenile Justice Schools
Special Education Schools Ages 3-21
Special Education Schools over Age 21

What is eligible through E-rate?

Category One Products and Services

  • Internet Access
  • Lit, Dark or Self-Provisioned Fiber (WAN)
  • Modulating Electronics for Dark or Self-Provisioned Fiber
  • Maintenance and Operation Costs for Self-Provisioned and Dark Fiber

Category Two Products and Services

  • Servers (Only for Caching Services)
  • Firewall services
  • Cabling, connectors, and related components used for internal broadband connections
  • Racks
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Access points
  • Wireless controller systems
  • Services provided by a third party for the operation, management, and monitoring of eligible broadband internal connections are eligible managed internal broadband services
  • E-rate support is available for basic maintenance and technical support appropriate to maintain reliable operation when provided for eligible broadband internal connections

For the most up to date information on eligible products and services visit the official Eligible Service List Page.


How do I apply for E-rate?

Applicants must apply for E-rate services each year to take advantage of program discounts. To apply for discounts applicants must:

  • Set Up an Organization Account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC)
  • Determine Facility Eligibility
  • Determine Discount Rate
  • Post a FCC Form 470 and an Request for Proposal (RFP) to Open a Competitive Bidding Process
  • Preform Bid Evaluations
  • File a FCC Form 471 to Apply for Discounts
  • Receive Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL)
  • Confirm the Districts CIPA Compliance
  • File a FCC Form 486 to Report the Delivery of Services
  • File a FCC Form 472 or FCC Form 474 to Request Reimbursement
  • Program participants must maintain their records for at least 10 years after the last date of service delivered to be able to comply with audits and other inquiries or investigations.

More information about the E-rate Program can be found on the official Schools and Libraries Programs Page.

Resources

Below is a list of compiled links to helpful E-rate resources.

Portals

Universal Service Administrative Company
USAC One Portal
The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the Form 472 (BEAR) Legacy Filing System can now be accessed through USAC’s One Portal single sign-on solution.

Useful Sites

Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Home
The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program provides discounts to keep students and library patrons connected to broadband and voice services.
Universal Service Administrative Company
USAC - Home
The Universal Service Administrative Company is dedicated to achieving universal service. This important principle suggests that eve-ryone in the U.S. deserves accessible, affordable, and pervasive high-speed connectivity.
FCC
FCC - Home
The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
USDA
USDA – National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions.
ODE
ODE – Home
The Oregon Department of Education fosters equity and excellence for every learner through collaboration with educators, partners, and communities.
EducationSuperhighway
EducationSuperhighway - Home
EducationSuperHighway is the leading nonprofit focused on upgrading the Internet access in every public school classroom in America.

News

FCC
FCC – News and Events
News and Events Overview.
EducationSuperhighway
EducationSuperhighway - Blog
New and Featured Posts.

Rules & Orders

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations – Title 47, Part 54, Subpart F—Universal Service Support for Schools and Libraries
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government produced by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Publishing Office.
FCC
FCC - E-rate Modernization Order
FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program To Expand Robust Wi-Fi Networks In The Nation's Schools and Libraries. Reforms to Expand Wi-Fi to 10 Million More Students, Thousands of Libraries Nationwide Next Year.
FCC
FCC - Second Modernization Order
FCC closes the school and library connectivity gap by adjusting program rules and support levels in order to meet long-term program goals for high-speed connectivity to and within all eligible schools and libraries.
FCC
FCC - Orders - Schools and Libraries (E-rate)
FCC Orders related to the Schools and Libraries Program.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Eligible Service Lists
The Eligible Services List (ESL) for each funding year provides guidance on the eligibility of products and services under the Schools and Libraries Program.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Forms
Forms for the Schools and Libraries Program.

Guidance & Information

Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program - Applicant Process
Process overview for applicants. These steps will take you through the Schools and Libraries Program process and provide you with everything you need to know along the way.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Glossary of Terms
Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program Frequently Used Terms.
FCC
FCC – CIPA
CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program.
USDA
USDA - CEP
The CEP Resource Center provides extensive resources for parents, teachers, and school officials at the local, state, and federal level to better understand CEP and its positive benefits, along with useful tools to help facilitate successful implementation of the provision in your school!
ODE
ODE – Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
Resources to help determine whether CEP may be a good option for your school.
EducationSuperhighway
EducationSuperhighway – RFP Templates & Guidance
High-quality templates and tools that you can refer to that can help you get started structuring your Category 1 or Category 2 RFP.

Tools

Universal Service Administrative Company
FY2021+ Category Two Budget Tool
This tool is designed to assist applicants in determining their Category Two budgets for each five-year cycle.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Deadlines
This tool was designed to explain and help you calculate deadlines for universal service forms and actions.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Open Data API
Open Data sets are available for the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program including information about FCC Form 470, FCC Form 471, entities, and annexes.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Commitment Search
This tool allows searches for commitment data by funding year and applicant name, city, state, zip and/or wave number.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Data Retrieval Tool (2015 and prior)
This tool allows searches for various information related to applications, funding commitments, and disbursements.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – FRN Status Tool (2016 and forward)
This tool allows searches for various information related to FCC Form 471, FRNs (Funding Request Numbers), Commitments, and dis-bursements similar to DRT.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – 498 ID Status
This tool lets you search for the status of your 498 ID.
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Urban/Rural Lookup Tool
This tool allows for searching an applicant's urban or rural status. If the applicant is a school district or library system, you must cor-rectly identify all member schools or libraries to get the correct result (information is based on the 2010 U.S. Census).
Universal Service Administrative Company
Schools and Libraries Program – Change or Disable an Applicant PIN
This tool allows applicants to perform certain functions related to their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
NCES
NCES – Search for Public Schools
National Center for Education Statistics Public School Search.
ODE
ODE – Institution Lookup
Use this application to lookup institution information from the Institution Boundary Database.
EducationSuperhighway
EducationSuperhighway – Compare and Connect
The Compare & Connect K-12 free tool makes school broadband and pricing data transparent so that you can get more bandwidth for your budget.
EducationSuperhighway
EducationSuperhighway – School Speed Test
In less than a minute you'll know the speed of your school's Internet access and the types of digital learning it can support.