Erate FAQ

What is the eRate Program?

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 established the E-Rate program in an effort to aid U.S. schools and libraries in promoting technology and obtaining affordable telecommunication and Internet services. Awarded annually since 1998, the program funds of 2.25 billion dollars are divided into two funding levels:

Priority One Services (Re-occurring Telecommunication Services)

The Priority One services are Telecommunication and Internet Access. These services include the following: Reoccurring Telecommunication Services (Basic Telephone Service, Centrex, Fax Lines, Local Dial Tone Service, Long Distance Service, POTS, 800#, Fax lines, etc.)

Priority Two Services (Internal Connections)

Data Communication Network (Eligible Local Area Network and Wide Area Network components, Private Branch Exchange etc.)

A more detailed list of Priority Two eligible services is available (850 Kb PDF) . The amount of funding an institution is eligible for depends on their school district's participation in the free and reduced lunch program.

What is the eRate process?

In order to obtain E-Rate discounts and funds, an eligible institution must be 100% E-Rate compliant and meet critical deadlines and specifications throughout the fiscal year. These include:

How long does it take to obtain eRate funding?

The entire process is managed over multiple years from the initial application through receipt of discounts and reimbursements. The strict deadlines and procedures established by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)/Schools and Libraries Division can be difficult to manage. Infratech Systems Group, LLC can refer or recomend an independent eRate consultant to assist you in this lengthy multi-year process.

Where can I go for more information on eRate?

There are many websites geared for schools and libraries interested in obtaining eRate funds and discounts. Below are just a few resources that comprehensively outline and detail the eRate process from start to finish:

USAC Homepage:
SLD Homepage:
FCC Homepage: