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What is E-Rate?

E-Rate – or, more precisely, the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism – provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Through the program, the following service categories are funded: Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance. Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services – depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served.

Helpful Forms and Links

Applicant Forms

Ready to apply for E-Rate funding? Fill out the forms to get started! For a full list of forms and instructions pertaining to the E-Rate program visit the USAC-SLD website.

  • Description of Services Requested and Certification Form | FCC Form 470
    • FCC Form 470 describes the services and/or products you are seeking.
  • Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form | FCC Form 471
    • FCC Form 471 lists the specific services that you are requesting E-Rate discounts for and the entities that are eligible to receive these services. This form also establishes the discount rate.
  • Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children’s Internet Protection Act and Technology Plan | FCC Form 486
    • FCC Form 486 is sent to the SLD (Schools and Libraries Division) to indicate that it (or the eligible entities it represents) is receiving or has received service from the service provider(s) with which it contracted for E-Rate eligible services. When the USAC-SLD receives a properly completed Form 486, it triggers the process for the actual payment of discounts to the service providers.
  • Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR) | FCC Form 472
    • FCC Form 472 is used to request reimbursement for E-Rate discounts on approved services.
  • Funding Commitment Adjustment Request Form | FCC Form 500
    • FCC Form 500 is used to adjust or modify approved funding commitments after the commitments have been issued by USAC.

FCC Orders and Named Decisions

The E-Rate program is structured around a set of orders and decisions established by the Federal Communications Commission. These guidelines help to determine eligibility, fund availability, and application requirements, among other criteria.

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