The E-rate provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable Internet access. 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.
Please visit the Eligible Services List to see descriptions of the eligible products and services. E-Rate does not cover desktop computers, learning software, professional development, or electrical infrastructure improvements to school buildings.
E-Rate-Links and Additional Information
- E-rate Staff Paper and School/Library fiber connectivity maps released (8/12/14)
- Online Application
- Beginners Guides and USAC Web Tour
- Application process
- Eligible Services List
- Calculating your discount
- Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
E-Rate applicants must follow the Children's Internet Protection Act if the application covers Internet access and/or internal connections. Discounts for telecommunications services (provided by a telecommunications carrier) do not require CIPA compliance.
On July 11, 2014 the FCC adopted the E-rate Modernization Order. The Order takes major steps to modernize and streamline the E-rate program and focuses on expanding funding for Wi-Fi networks in eligible elementary and secondary schools and libraries across America.
The rule changes identified below will become effective for funding year 2015 unless otherwise noted.
- Spring to Early Fall (annually) for applicants holding a plan, which will not expire on June 30 of the following fiscal year: the applicant should begin the process of collecting data and establishing a stakeholder’s initiative for crafting/writing a new or revised TIP. (See the reference to the TIP above.)
- Funding Year Start Date July 1 (annually) for eligible services previously selected and bid for according to established policies and procedures as specified online at www.usac.org.
- File Initial Annual Form 470: Description of Services Requested and Certification Form (Form 470). This form must be posted at least 28 days before filing Form 471, the Services Ordered and Certification Form. This form is generally available late spring until early fall each calendar year. Refer to official USAC guidance for specific dates, as well as compliance rules and measures.
- File Description of Services Requested and Certification Form 471 within the prescribed window. Watch USAC’s website for specific window open and close dates.
- File the Receipt of Service Confirmation Form (Form 486). USAC specifies a 120 requirement on their website at www.usac.org.
- File the Billing Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (Form 472) and Service Provider Invoice Form (Form 474). This must also be received or postmarked no later than 120 days after the date of the Form 486 Notification Letter or 120 days after the last date to receive service, whichever is later.
- USAC Trainings and Outreach
- USAC Eligible Services List - Draft List
- Illinois State Library’s E-rate information
- E-rate Central
- National Center for Education Statistics
- American Association School Superintendent’s E-rate Toolkit
For questions related to E-rate, please contact Jamey Baiter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-782-0354.