The E-Rate, the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.
Four service categories are funded:
- Telecommunications Services
- Internet Access
- Internal Connections Other than Basic Maintenance
- Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
The E-Rate is one of four support mechanisms funded through a Universal Service fee
charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the Universal Service Fund at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); USAC's Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) administers the E-rate.
The process we follow to apply for and receive E-Rate discounts is summarized below:
- The Technology Plan Shows How Technology Will Improve Education or Library Services
- The FCC Form 470 Opens a Competitive Process for the Services Desired
- The FCC Form 471 Seeks Funding for Eligible Services Competitively Bid
- The Funding Commitment Decision Letter Contains SLD Decisions on Funding Requests
- The FCC Form 486 Tells SLD that Delivery of Services Has Begun
- The Invoice (FCC Form 472 or 474) Tells SLD to Pay the Service Provider
E-Rate discounts have become an important component to build the technology infrastructure that enhances the education experience to our students. SCOE has incorporated E-Rate discounts into the strategic planning of the organization which has helped promote a vision for student learning and a rationale for creating and continuing to build networked learning environments.
SCOE would like to welcome all service providers seeking to make proposals for technology infrastructure projects within this organization.