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E-Rate Information for Public Libraries

E-Rate, otherwise known as Universal Service Rate Discounts for Schools and Libraries, came into existence with the passing of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. An expansion of the existing Universal Phone Service, E-Rate is intended to provide schools and libraries with affordable access to advanced telecommunications in the form of service discounts. Telecommunication Services, Internet Access and Internal Connections are all subject to E-Rate discounts. Computers, software and other unrelated services, however, do not qualify for service cost reductions under this program. E-Rate is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), under FCC direction. For more information, please visit the Schools & Library Division of USAC. Applying for E-Rate discounts can often be a complicated process, one of the first things you may want to do is review step by step directions on how to apply. To learn about how CIPA (the Children's Internet Protection Act) affects the E-Rate application process, please refer to our CIPA resource page.

E-rate Modernization

In July 2013 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began a review process of the E-rate program. Based on findings from these proceedings, two E-rate Modernization Orders were release in July and December 2014 that will have a major impact on the program.

Helpful Tools

Urban/Rural Status Tools

E-Rate Resources USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company)

E-Rate Application Forms

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)


Joe Olayvar
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