What is E-Rate?
Based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC created the E-Rate program to provide schools and libraries affordable access to advanced telecommunications services. This program provides discounts ranging from 20% to 90% on Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections to eligible schools and libraries subject to a $2.25 billion annual cap.
In order to receive E-Rate discounts, schools and libraries must competitively bid all eligible services on the SLD website and after a minimum of 28 days, select the most cost effective proposal. E-Rate discounts are then requested by applying to the SLD and if discounts are approved, they are provided to schools and libraries via directly discounted bills, or reimbursement process after services have been provided. For official E-Rate guidance, visit the SLD's website.