E-Rate Resources

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Manage the Cost of Connectivity

The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable Internet access and telecommunications services. Four service types are funded: Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts range from 20-90 percent of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status at the school district level.

More about E-RateThe E-Rate program has provided more than $1 billion to Ohio schools and libraries for their telecommunications and Internet services, as well as internal connections equipment and basic maintenance costs.

How does the E-Rate program work?

An eligible school or library identifies services it needs and submits a request for competitive bids to the Universal Service Administrative Company. USAC posts these requests on its website for vendors’ consideration. After reviewing its offers, the school or library selects its preferred vendor(s) and applies to USAC for approval for the desired purchases.

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

Starting with Funding Year (FY) 2015, products and services eligible for E-Rate Program discounts are divided into Category One and Category Two. Category Two consists of the internal connections equipment or services necessary to bring broadband into, and provide it throughout, schools and libraries. Connections are limited to broadband connections used for educational purposes within, between, or among instructional buildings that comprise a school campus or library branch, basic maintenance of these connections, and services that manage and operate owned or leased broadband internal connections.

  • The service types included in Category Two are Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.
  • The highest discount level for Category Two services will be 85 percent. Applicants eligible for a 90 percent discount for Category One services will be eligible for an 85 percent discount for Category Two services. Other discount levels will not change.

For more information, see the resources below.

Lorrie Germann

State E-Rate Coordinator
Email |lorrie.germann@education.ohio.gov
Phone | 740-223-2420   Cell | 740-253-1153

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