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E-Rate Program for Schools and Libraries

Your school or library could qualify for discounted phone and internet service.

The Schools and Libraries program, also known as the E-rate program, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries in America. Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the FCC in 1997, the E-rate provides discounted telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries, funded by the Universal Service Fund.

Innovative digital learning technologies and the growing importance of the Internet in connecting students, teachers, and consumers to jobs, life-long learning, and information, are creating increasing demand for bandwidth in schools and libraries. In 2014, the FCC adopted the E-rate Modernization Order and the Second E-rate Modernization Order as part of a comprehensive review to modernize the program.

Net Tel One communications encourages our education customers to apply for all possible discounts. There are several steps required and applications must be submitted each year. Click here too apply or learn more about the program.

What benefits are available under the E-Rate Program?

  1. Eligible schools and libraries may receive discounts on eligible category one services (telecommunications, telecommunications services and Internet access) and category two services (internal connections, managed internal broadband services and basic maintenance of internal connections).

  2. The discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, with higher discounts for higher poverty and more rural schools and libraries. Schools and libraries are always responsible for paying at least some part of the cost of service.

How does the E-Rate Program work?

  1. A school or library that wishes to participate in the E-rate program submits a request for competitive bids for the specific E-rate supported services it seeks to the Universal Service Administrative Company. USAC posts those requests on its website for vendors to see. The bid request and competitive bidding process must comply with both FCC rules and state and local procurement requirements.

  2. After reviewing the bids it has received, the school or library selects its preferred vendor(s) and submits an application to USAC for approval listing its desired purchases.

  3. USAC issues funding commitments to eligible applicants. Once a vendor provides the selected services to the applicant, either the vendor or the applicant submits requests to USAC for reimbursement of the approved discounts.

Click here too apply or learn more about the program.

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