The E-Rate Program program provides discounted rates on telecommunication and internet services to schools and libraries nationwide. The discount level varies based on the poverty status and location of the population being served.
What does the e-rate program do? The E-Rate Program supports the connectivity for telecommunication services and the internet for schools and libraries and contracts with service providers to provide discounted rates of 20%-90% depending on poverty status and population area being served.
Data obtained on March 2, from http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/discount-matrix.aspx
How do schools and libraries apply for E-rate discounts?
Develop a Technology Plan
Open a Competitive Bidding Process
Seek Discounts on Eligible Services
Confirm Receipt of Services
Invoicing for Services
Developing a Technology Plan
Must set clear goals and strategies for using telecommunications and information technology
Include professional development so staff know how to use the technology
Create an assessment of technology services, software, and hardware that your school will need
Include an evaluation process to monitor progress towards your goals
BISD technology Plan for 2010-11 Click the picture to view the 2010-11 Technology Plan for BISD.
Competitive Bidding Process
Applicant who will negotiate with the service provider will complete and submit Form 470
Form 470 applicant is responsible for ensuring a fair bidding process
Consider whether to receive discount on bills or reimbursements for services paid in full
Applicant must save all competing bids to show most cost effective bid was chosen
Wait at least 28 days before choosing service provider from available bids
Seeking Funds for Eligible Services Competitively Bid
Complete Services Ordered and Certification Form (Form 471)
File Form 471 within the time frame window
Pay the non-discount portion of services provided
Limit funding requests to the cost of eligible services to be delivered
Make sure all certifications in Form 471 are true and correct
Attach detailed information about products and services ordered so the SLD can verify them
Decisions on Funding Requests
The SLD will issue a Funding Commitment Decision Letter to the applicant and service provider outlining their decision for the funding request
Decisions can be appealed within 60 days after the date of the SLD decision letter
Service Confirmation and Payment to Service Provider
The school must submit Form 486 informing the SLD that services have begun.
Form 472 must be submitted by the school to request reimbursement for services already paid in full
Form 474 must be submitted by the service provider to receive payment for discounts they have provided.
Retention of Records and Audits
Applicants must maintain their records for 5 years after the last date of service to comply with audits or inquiries
Summary of E-Rate
Provides discounts from 20%-90% in four service categories depending on poverty status and the population area being served
Requires a Technology Plan and Competitive Bidding Process to seek discounted service rates
Requires that necessary forms be submitted within a given time-frame
Records must be kept for 5 years after last date of service
For more information on E-Rate click on the picture below. E-Rate opens the door for technology access in public schools!