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.
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
- 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.
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.