Ensuring that schools and libraries across the U.S. are connected to information and resources through the internet.
The E-Rate program reduces the cost of telecommunications and information services for schools and libraries. E-Rate, which is funded by the Universal Service Fund, gives eligible schools and libraries discounts on telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections.
Ensuring Schools and Libraries across the U.S are connected to information and resources through the internet. The continuous proliferation of innovative digital learning technologies, as well as the need to connect students, teachers, and consumers to jobs, and information, and life-long learning has resulted in a steady increase in demand for bandwidth in schools and libraries.
The FCC has refocused E-Rate from legacy telecommunications services to broadband in recent years, with the goal of significantly expanding Wi-Fi access.
Benefits Under The E-Rate Program
Discounts on telecommunications, services, and Internet access, as well as internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic internal connection maintenance, may be available to eligible schools and libraries. Discounts range from 20% to 90%, depending on the poverty level of the schools. Rural schools and libraries may potentially be eligible for a larger discount. Recipients are required to pay a percentage of the service fees.
How It Works
The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program offers payment for eligible school and library services.
Discounts on qualified services are available to public or private schools (K-12), libraries, and organizations of schools and libraries (e.g., consortia, districts, systems).
To be eligible for Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program assistance, schools and libraries must meet statutory definitions.
Schools must meet the legislative definition of elementary and secondary schools specified in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 7801) to qualify for universal service support:
According to state legislation, an Elementary School is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that delivers elementary education.
According to state legislation, A Secondary School is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that offers secondary education; however, this word does not cover any instruction that extends past the 12th grade. Schools that are for-profit institutions or have endowments worth more than $50 million are ineligible. Non-traditional facilities and students may occasionally qualify.
To qualify for support from a state library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as amended by the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 (20 U.S.C. Section 9122), libraries must fit the statutory criteria of library or library consortium.
A library must include:
• A public library
• A public elementary school or secondary school library
• A Tribal library
• An academic library
• A research library is one that offers materials and services to the public that are suitable for academic research but are not generally open to the public and are not a fundamental part of a higher education institution.
• A private library, but only if the state in which it is housed decides that it qualifies as a library for the purposes of this definition.
Whether a library qualifies for assistance also depends on how much money it receives on its own. Only libraries with entirely independent budgets from any schools, including but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities, will be qualified to receive reduced services.
These actions will aid applicants in navigating the funding application procedure. Please adhere to these guidelines.
Eligible Services List
For each fiscal year, the Eligible Services List (ESL) outlines which goods and services are acceptable under the Schools and Libraries Program.
The ESL is divided into two main sections and one other section.
- Internet access or services for data transmission
- Managed Internal Broadband Services (MIBS), Internal Connections (IC), and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (BMIC).
- Explanations for specific Category One and Category Two services' eligibility.
- Limitations on eligibility for Category Two services
The only products or services that can receive funding are those that will be used for educational purposes. The specific entries of the ESL for each financing year detail the eligibility requirements.