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
  • E-Rate 101: Basics of the program

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