What is e-rate?

What is E-Rate? Everything You Need to Know

In E-Rate, Guide to E-Rate Funding by Kendra Webb-Scott

Demystifying E-Rate: Your School’s Key to Affordable Tech Access

What is E-Rate?

E-Rate, also known as the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, is a federal program in the United States that provides discounts on telecommunications and internet services to eligible schools and libraries. The program was established as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Bridging the Digital Divide

We’re living in an era where access to the internet is as vital as textbooks and chalkboards. But not every school or library has the budget to keep up with the latest technology. E-Rate steps in to level the playing field.

The primary goal of the program is to ensure that schools and libraries have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services. It subsidizes eligible entities, including public and private K-12 schools, public and private libraries, and certain rural healthcare providers, by providing discounts on the cost of eligible services that can include internet access, internal network connections, and basic telecommunications services.

How Does E-Rate Work?

E-Rate provides discounts on telecommunications and internet services, helping you get connected without breaking the bank. These discounts are like a lifeline for institutions, especially in underserved or economically disadvantaged areas.

Funding is divided into categories, with Priority 1 services, which include basic connectivity, receiving the highest level of support. Priority 2 services, which include internal connections and network equipment, are also eligible for discounts, but they are subject to a cap, and funding is allocated based on a competitive bidding process.

Eligibility Requirements: Who Can Benefit?

The good news is that many K-12 schools, public and private libraries, and some health care providers are eligible for E-Rate funding. If your institution falls into one of these categories, you’re in luck.

The E-Rate program plays a critical role in helping educational institutions and libraries stay connected and provide access to the Internet for educational and informational purposes, particularly in underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. It has been instrumental in bridging the digital divide in education by making it more affordable for these institutions to acquire the necessary technology and connectivity to enhance learning and access to information.

It isn’t just about connecting to the web; it’s about boosting education and enabling interactive learning, online resources, and communication tools that empower both students and educators.

Call to Action: Your Free E-Rate Consultation Awaits!

Ready to take your school’s connectivity to the next level with E-Rate? We’re here to help. Contact us for a free E-Rate consultation, and let’s unlock the power of technology for your school. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bridge the digital divide in education. Your E-Rate journey starts with a simple call.

Check out our Complete Guide to E-Rate Funding for K-12 Schools for more information and to request your complimentary E-Rate binder.