The E-Rate Program Defined
Technology is transforming the way students learn and parents communicate with teachers and administrators. However, school budgets are tight and gaining access to the necessary tools, network infrastructure and applications can be a challenge for many school districts. Fortunately, the Universal Service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help many schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.
Schools and libraries can request funding within five categories of service:
- Telecommunications – Priority-One (P1)
- Telecommunications Services – Priority-One (P1)
- Internet Access – Priority-One (P1)
- Internal Connections – Priority-Two (P2)
- Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections – Priority-Two (P2)
E-rate funding is allocated based on priority. The first three categories listed above are considered “Priority-One” services and, as a result, requests for these types of services receive a high funding priority. The remaining funds, if any, are allocated to “Priority Two” services, which are the last two categories listed above. For a full list of eligible services, click here.
Leased Ethernet Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Internet Access are considered Priority-One telecommunications services and typically receive funding each E-rate season.
E-Rate Program Discount Levels
Discount levels are based on the percent of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program as well as the school’s classification as either rural or urban. For private schools, the discount can be calculated by using scholarship statistics.
Learn more about E-Rate funding discounts by visiting the Universal Service Administration Corporation (USAC) website @ http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/samples/Discount-Matrix.pdf
Conterra Broadband Services and the E-Rate Program
If you considering leasing telecommunications services, Conterra provides broadband, wide area networking (WAN) services and Internet solutions that will help your district enhance the learning process. Conterra is a national E-rate service provider of broadband services for K-12 schools, school districts, and libraries that require bandwidth intensive, carrier-grade data, video and voice transport services. Conterra and its subsidiaries currently provide these services to over 1,100 locations throughout the United States, affording broadband services to more than one million students, teachers, and administrators.
To assist in the funding process, Conterra provides a professionally trained staff to provide support in all facets of the E-Rate cycle, including post-award assistance with E-Rate forms and filing guidance. Our E-Rate and Regulatory Managers stay abreast of all rules issued by USAC, the Schools and Libraries Division, the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Courts and Congress.
Conterra offers complete, turnkey, managed wide area network, Internet access and hosted VoIP services that include; the network design, all permitting/licensing services, deployment of all required infrastructure, and 24x7x365 operations and maintenance support.
Conterra is a Priority-One, E-Rate Eligible Telecommunications Provider (ETP) as defined by the Federal Communications Commission and the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC and is qualified as a Priority-One Provider of telecom services for participating schools’ E-Rate funding. Our California subsidiary is eligible under the California Teleconnect Fund. Our SPIN is 143025700. The SPIN for our California subsidiary is 143032050.
For more information about the E-Rate Process and Program, visit the USAC website @ http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/default.aspx.