E-rate: A Federal Program for Schools and Libraries

 

ClassroomNow that school is back in session, it may be time to evaluate the technology that supports your school or library. Implementing and maintaining phone and computer systems can be expensive, so we wanted to make you aware of a program that may be able to assist you with your technology costs.

 

E-rate is a federal program that helps to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for eligible schools and libraries across the country. Schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) (Pub. L. 104-208) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act.

 

Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1997, E-rate is funded by the Universal Service Fund and provides discounts for Wi-Fi, high-speed broadband and telecommunications services to eligible schools and libraries. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is a not-for-profit corporation designated by the FCC to administer the $10 billion Universal Service Fund.

 

If your school or library would like to participate in E-rate, here are the four steps in the process:

 

  1. Request bids for service
  2. Apply for funding
  3. Start receiving services
  4. Invoice USAC

 

You can begin this process by submitting FCC Form 470, which must be filed online in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). This form must be posted on the USAC website for a minimum of 28 days, known as the competitive bidding period. This is a formal process to identify and request the products and services you need so that potential service providers can review your requests online and submit bids for your consideration.

 

Teltek is a registered E-rate Vendor and our Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is 830717. We have access to nearly all of the telecommunications E-rate carriers throughout the country, which allows us to gather multiple quotes from these carriers and present them to you in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.

 

If you are interested in switching the copper phone lines in your school or library to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking, our new SIP service is an eligible service under the E-rate program! To learn more about E-rate and Teltek’s role in this program, please visit our E-rate page.

 

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