E-Rate, Schools & Libraries Program
E-Rate is a Schools and libraries Universal Service Support system that provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries to obtain affordable Internet access, hardware and fiber.
Service categories that USAC funds:
- Internet Access
- Internal Connections (Other than Basic Maintenance)
- Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
E-Rate is based on districts Free & Reduced Lunch Program
Discounts can range anywhere from 30% to 90% of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served. This is based on the Free and Reduced Lunch program. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
Steps to follow in order to file for E-Rate Funds
There is a process that the schools and libraries must follow to apply for and receive E-Rate discounts. Each of the steps in this process starts with:
- Make sure that the services and equipment is on the current Eligible List
- Opening the competitive process (Form 470)
- Seeking discounted services (Form 471)
- Confirming the receipt of services (Form 486)
- Invoicing for services (Forms 472 and/or Form 474)
A district administrator must have a EPC (E-Rate Productivity Center) account to file e-rate. The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is the account and application management portal for the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Applicants, consultants, and service providers participating in the E-rate Program use this tool to manage program processes and to submit questions.
EPC allows users to get information about the status of their applications, reminders about important dates, and correspondence from Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) and other review teams. Letters and other correspondence are stored in EPC so that users can easily access them at any time.