Working with E-Rate 2021
The e-rate process can seem like a daunting task at first glance. However, with a bit of help and training, it can be a valuable tool for your school that with a bit of effort can have significant cost savings.
Who Can Apply:
All public and private K-12 schools. Benefits are based on how many students who are Free and Reduced eligible. https://www.usac.org/e-rate/
What Type of Services Are Eligible?
Category One Services
Cat 1 is traditionally your internet connection. It can include broadband connections and WAN circuits
Category Two Services
Cat 2 includes networking equipment that helps you get to the internet. A partial list of eligible equipment:
- Access Points
- Caching Servers
- Installation, licensing and set up of the above items
When Do I Have To Apply:
Each year the timing is slightly different, so please make sure to check each year.
The last day to file a Form 470 is February 20th
The first day to file a Form 471 is January 10th
The last day to file a Form 471 is March 20th
How do we apply:
The process follows the standard government bid process.
Form 470: Competitive bidding is a formal process to identify and request the products and services you need so that potential service providers can review those requests and submit bids for them.
Form 471: after you have put your equipment and services out for bid, you then have to select vendors to provide that equipment and/or services.
Once you have selected the vendors, you fill out a Form 471 advising USAC.
USAC will review your submission and ask any additional questions they may have.
After the review process. USAC issues a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL). After you have received your FCDL letter you can start preparations to receive the discounted services.
Form 486: Once the services have been rendered or equipment has been delivered, you file a Form 486.
Form 472 or Form 474: After USAC has received the Form 486, you can begin invoicing . This done through a From 472 or Form 474 depending on how you want to be paid.