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E-Rate 101: Basics of the program

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  • Based on MSAs, established by OMB based on census information Used for many programs Available at the Library/School website or Colorado Demography Information Service (303)866-4147 Goldsmith Modification developed by HHS Office of Rural Health Policy for rural grants. List available at the Library/School website or HHS Office of Rural Health Policy…also a website through HHS.gov
  • Not sure what Installation & Maintenance includes or how far hardware is allowed, e.g. PBX example
  • Special Rules in response to AOL and Prodigy; expect some gaming to occur Internet approach to accommodate “protocol conversion and information storage that does not generate or alternate the content of information - data transmission - address translation - protocol conversion - billing management - introductory information content - navigational systems 47 USC 274(h)(2) electronic publishing def. as example
  • Transcript

    • 1. E-Rate 101: Basics of the program Fall 2007 Pam Pfitzenmaier 515-669-8159 [email_address]
    • 2. What is E-rate?
      • Discount Program for Schools and Libraries
      • 20-90% discounts on telecommunications services, Internet access, internal connections and maintenance for internal connections
      • Annual $2.25 billion program nationwide
      • NOT a competitive grant program
    • 3. Who is eligible to participate
      • Libraries
      • Schools
    • 4. Library Eligibility
      • Non-profit, public libraries
      • Eligible for LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act)
      • Can be:
        • single library
        • consortia
        • library system
    • 5. School Eligibility
      • All public schools:
        • school districts
        • AEAs
      • “ Other school programs” as determined by Iowa Department of Education (see DE Directory)
      • Non-profit, private K-12 schools with endowment of $50M or less
      • Must meet federal definition of elementary or secondary school
    • 6. What is My Discount?
    • 7. Two criteria make up discount:
      • Poverty
      • Location
    • 8. Poverty
      • Based on National School Lunch Program Eligibility
      • As a school, you are allowed to use October 1 data or “most current figure available”
      • Libraries use discount from school district in which they are located.
    • 9. Location
      • Urban/Rural defined by Counties
    • 10. Iowa counties which are urban:
          • Black Hawk
          • Dallas
          • Dubuque
          • Johnson
          • Linn
          • Polk
          • Pottawattamie
          • Scott
          • Warren
          • Woodbury
    • 11. Discount Matrix 90% 90% 75% -100% 80% 80% 50% -74% 25% 20% Less than 1% 70% 60% 35% - 49% 60% 50% 20% - 34% 50% 40% 1% - 19% Rural Urban Percent of Eligible Students
    • 12. What is funded through e-rate?
      • Four categories of service
        • Priority 1 (funded first)
          • Telecommunications Services
          • Internet Access
        • Priority 2 (starts with neediest applicants)
          • Internal Connections
          • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
    • 13. Eligible Telecommunications (priority 1)
      • MUST be provided by regulated telecommunications carrier
      • e.g.
        • local & long distance
        • distance learning (such as ICN video)
      Including all taxes and surcharges!
    • 14. Eligible Telecommunications (priority 1) cont.
      • Voicemail
      • Satellite dish service for 2-way communications (NOT satellite TV subscription)
      • Cell phone service
      • Centrex
    • 15. Eligible Services: Internet Access (priority 1)
      • Internet Access Services
      • Web hosting service
    • 16. ( Eligible Services: Internal Connections priority 2)
        • Wiring
        • Routers
        • Switches
        • Hubs
        • Network servers
        • System operating software
        • Wireless LANs
        • Private branch exchange (PBX)
    • 17. Eligible Services: Maintenance of internal connections (priority 2)
      • Maintenance of previously purchased internal connections (does NOT include end-user equipment such as computers)
    • 18. Proposed changes for FY 08
      • Centrex as basic phone service
      • How distance learning and video conferencing may be eligible as Internet Access
      • A definition of eligible web hosting
    • 19. Discounts come in 2 forms:
        • Discounts on bills OR
        • Reimbursements from service provider (service provider gets reimbursed by USAC)
    • 20. How Discounts Work $100 (existing) bills you would pay You apply to for discounts You get 55% in discounts You now only owe $45 The vendor ’ s bill drops by $55 Vendor gets $55 from SLD! Vendor invoices USAC/USAC approves invoice   How Discounts Work
    • 21. How Reimbursements Work 10/9/2007 CDE/VET/E - rate/CTF 2000 - 2001 (BEGINNER) $100 (existing) bills you would pay You apply to for discounts You get 55% in discounts You apply for reimbursement You pay 100% of bill Vendor sends you $55! USAC approves paperwork/sends check to vendor   How Reimbursements Work
    • 22. General rules of e-rate
      • Competitive bid on SLD web site for 28 days
      • Application in ‘window’ to SLD each year
      • SLD funds on rules of priority
        • Priority 1: Telecom and Internet Access
        • Priority 2: Internal Connections and Maintenance
    • 23. “2 in 5 Rule”
      • Applies only to internal connections (priority 2)
      • An applicant can only get internal connections funding in 2 out of 5 years
      • Questions about this? Give me a call.
    • 24. Fair Warning!
      • Not an easy process
      • Lots of paperwork
      • Rewards can be great!
    • 25. What about the tech plan?
      • Must contain required 5 elements
      • Must be written before filing the 470
      • Applicant must be able to provide the plan and proof of the date it was written when asked by PIA
      • 4 of the 5 elements are in your approved district/school CSIP
    • 26. More on tech plans
      • The Iowa Department of Education has provided a template which needs to be completed and sent to the AEA by November 1
      • When you e-mail that, copy yourself to keep an electronic paper trail for use when/if PIA asks
    • 27. More on Tech plans
      • USAC (PIA) has started asking to see
        • Your approved tech plan
        • Your tech plan approval letter
    • 28. What to say about the budget
      • Statement such as, “During the 2006-07 school year, our district spent $XXXX on hardware, software and professional development to support e-rate activities. We used $YYY from the General Fund and $ZZZ from Title I and $JJJ from other grants. We anticipate our district will spend the same amount in 2008-09 and will use the same funding sources.”
    • 29. More about budgeting
      • If planning to request E-rate funding for internal connections, indicate where the non E-rate $s will come from.
    • 30. Tip 1: Get organized
      • Create a notebook
    • 31. Tip 2: Get frequent updates
      • Listserv:
      • [email_address]
      • USAC offers frequent updates
    • 32. Tip 3: Get support!
      • Have a backup person in your district/library
      • Build support with your business office, supt/director and tech person
      • Contact your AEA e-rate expert
    • 33. Who are the E-rate players?
      • Congress
      • FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
      • USAC (Universal Services Administrative Company)
      • SLD (Schools and Libraries Division)
    • 34. Now You Know the Rules…. Let’s Walk Through the Application Process
    • 35. Application Process at a Glance:
      • Form 470 : Now until on or about December 1.
      • Wait 28 days! Must wait that long!
      • Form 471: “window” opens in November and closes in February (dates not yet set)
      • Wait for questions from PIA
      • Funding commitment decision letter
      • Form 486: file to confirm services
      • If getting reimbursements, form 472
    • 36.  
    • 37. Form 471
      • Form 471 : “window” opens in November and closes in February (dates not yet set)
    • 38.  
    • 39. Next steps
      • Wait for questions from PIA, e.g.
        • Questions about your funding request
        • Verification of your discount
        • Copy of tech plan and/or approval letter
      • Funding commitment decision letter
      • File form 486
    • 40.  
    • 41. Online form 486
      • New online 486 version
      • Improved over earlier version but still has technical glitches
      • If you have technical issues, call 1-888-203-8100 and report them
    • 42. Reimbursements?
      • Must file form 472(BEAR form which is now available in online version)
        • Rumor has it that small providers won’t participate in the online BEAR
      • If filing on paper, must use most recent version
    • 43.  
    • 44. Year 2008-09 Details (funding year 2008)
      • 7/1/2008 - 6/30/2009 services provided
      • Application “window” opens at least 30 days after Eligible Services List is released by FCC
      • If you don’t file form 471 by deadline, funding will be denied (although Bishop Perry decision has altered some denials)
    • 45. Resources to Remember
      • SLD web site: www.universalservice.org/sl/
      • SLD Client Service Bureau: 888-203-8100
      • www.iptv.org/iowa_database/erate
      • [email_address]
      • 515-669-8159

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