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E-rate

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) web site is the most authoritative source of information and help for libraries in filing for E-Rate discounts. Check the site frequently for updated information..

Forms and Instructions

 


Background on the Universal Service Fund

On May 7, 1997, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which provides discounts for telecommunications services to schools, libraries, and rural hospitals. The act was a major rewrite of federal telecommunications laws and has resulted in significant savings to libraries on a variety of telecommunications services. This program is popularly known as the “E-Rate”. Discounts are not automatic. In order to obtain discounts, libraries need to submit a technology plan for approval to the State Library and various forms to the Schools and Libraries Division.

Application Forms

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) has been designated by the FCC as the agency to handle the FCC application forms needed to receive E-rate discounts. Libraries and consortia can file the forms electronically on the SLD web site. Form 470 is filed to let the SLD know that the library intends to apply for discounts, and to describe what services or products are needed. This information is posted to the SLD web site for a 28-day bid period. After the library signs a contract, Form 471 is filed to commit the discount money; and after service starts, Form 486 is filed so the service provider can be paid. Form 472 is filed to get reimbursement from vendors until their discounted billing process is in place.

Federal Communication Commission sites

For FCC information about Universal Service Discounts:

  • Federal Communications Commission Offers in depth coverage of all legislation associated with the Universal Service/E-Rate discounts
  • E-Rate Central’s excellent summary of FCC decisions regarding E-Rate.
  • LearnNet: The FCC’s Informal Education Page A one-stop update each day for those monitoring the FCC’s Universal Service (E-Rate) decisionmaking process.

Information From Other States

Comments to: Bob Keith

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