E-Rate, a program administered by the Universal Service for Schools and Libraries Program, is a Federal program sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that provides funding to schools and libraries for telecommunications services, internet access, and internal connections. The goal of this program is to ensure there is no divide based on financial standing when it comes to students access to education.
This history of it dates back to 1996 when the Telecommunications Act was passed. It was brought about due to the growing need for schools to have access to the internet and other technology in order for students to succeed in a rapidly growing digital world.
Little did they know, this program would be more of a miracle during the pandemic – a time when school was online and Wi-Fi was the only way we could connect to learn.
How E-Rate Works
E-Rate funds can go towards internet and internal connections, such as networking, within a school or district, providing better communication and access for administrators, teachers, and students.
The E-Rate program is often used to upgrade and expand technological infrastructure, such as:
- Upgrading and expanding internet access
- Implementing Wi-Fi networks in schools
- Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
E-Rate allows for substantial discounts on these services, with the discount level determined by the poverty level of the school or library. The poverty level is determined by the percentage of the school or district’s population of students on free or reduced lunch.
E-Rate Benefits for Schools
E-Rate funding has allowed schools to improve their technology infrastructure, leading to better access and use of technology in the classroom. This has led to improved communication between teachers, students, and parents. It also leads to enhanced teaching methods and ultimately, improved student achievement.
We started seeing a difference in how the education system functioned with E-Rate funding, and with the program’s continued success, the FCC has increased the funding with a funding cap of $4.276 billion.
This can have a significant impact on the learning experience for students, allowing them to access online resources and information, collaborate with peers, and communicate with teachers outside of the classroom.
In 2022, it’s surprising to know that Wi-Fi issues are still present. The number of devices connecting to Wi-Fi increases daily, and usage is through the roof. For many of these schools, E-Rate program funding is a requirement to be able to serve their populations.
ANC’s Instant Access to E-Rate Benefits for Schools
Here at ANC, we believe in the importance of school funding and success in learning. We must not only adapt to this digital world, but do our part to improve it. Our expertise and decades of experience delivering products and services under E-Rate makes it easy for schools & libraries to get the assessments, quotes, products and services they need.
In addition, we offer a complimentary technology assessment for interested schools. This allows us to analyze your current technology needs and usage, ensuring you have a plan for moving forward with funding of any type, whether it be E-Rate, State/Local matching funds, or other Federal programs.
Don’t let E-Rate funding pass you by. Partner with ANC and take advantage of the benefits it can bring to your school.