Learn More About E-Rate Funding
When you work with the E-RATE ONLINE team, securing maximum funding and customer satisfaction is our top priority. Always happy to help, below are the answers to the most common questions in understanding the E-Rate funding process.
What is E-Rate funding?
E-Rate is a federal program that provides discounts on services to ensure high-speed Internet access for schools and libraries in the U.S. The E-Rate program is administered by USAC with oversight from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Who is eligible?
Schools (public or private, K-12), libraries, and groups of schools and libraries (e.g., consortia, districts, and systems) can apply for discounts on eligible equipment and services.
How do you qualify for E-Rate funding?
Schools and libraries must meet statutory definitions to be eligible for Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program support. Click here to view complete details.
What services/equipment are eligible under E-Rate funding?
Internet access, telecommunications services, and related equipment are eligible for discounts. View the latest full list of Eligible Services here.
What states do you serve?
E-RATE ONLINE works with applicants in nearly every state in the United States! Any school or library in the U.S. that meets the statutory definition of a school or library is eligible for E-Rate funding.
How are requests prioritized?
If demand for E-Rate money is greater than the available funds, funding is allocated first to the highest poverty schools and libraries, then the next-highest poverty applicants, and so on.
How much funding is available?
The funding cap changes on an annual basis. The cap for funding year 2023 is $4.768 billion.
Is there a cap or limit to funding?
Each independent school, school district, library or library system receiving Category 2 funding has a five-year, pre-discount budget for those products and services based on the number of students in the school district or the number of square feet in the library system. There is no funding cap for C1 services.
What is the difference between E-Rate Category 1 and 2?
Category One provides funding for Data Transmission Services and/or Internet Access (leased lit fiber), as well as leased dark fiber and self-provisioned broadband networks with or without special construction. Category Two provides funds primarily for Internal Connections (networking equipment), Managed Internal Broadband Services (MIBS) and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (BMIC). View the latest full list of Eligible Services here.
What is the process of applying for E-Rate funding?
E-Rate funding is a year-round process that begins in the fall every year with Competitive Bidding and culminates with collecting discounts or reimbursements on all eligible services and equipment. Click here to review the entire Applicant Process.