What is E-rate?
E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and libraries
on Telecommunications, Internet access, and Internal Connections costs in
order to make these services more affordable.
E-rate is the commonly used name for the Universal Service Fund. The
Schools and Libraries Division (SLD)
of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the
E-rate program for schools and libraries. USAC is a not-for-profit
corporation overseen by the FCC.
Who is eligible?
All public libraries in Nebraska
are eligible to apply for E-rate.
How much of a discount can my library receive?
Discounts range from
20% - 90%. The amount is based on:
1) the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program
in the school district in which the library is located, and 2) the urban or
rural location of the library, based on U.S. Census data.
What services are funded?
Telecommunications services - local, long distance, 800 number, and cell
Internet Access - Broadband, Fiber, Wi-Fi
Internal Connections - wiring and network equipment
Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
What is the future of funding for Telephone Services?
The E-rate program is changing to focus support on improving Broadband
Internet Access to schools and libraries. In part to accomplish this, Voice
Services are gradually being phased out. This includes local, long distance, 800
number, and cellular voice phone service.
I have to filter my library's computers to qualify for E-rate?
Only if you are applying for discounts for Internet
Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance.
only apply for discounts on Telecommunications, ie. your basic phone
service, you do not have to filter.
How do I apply?
Start the process in the Fall by filing
online. See the
Timeline for the entire Application Process.
I have more questions about E-rate. Who do I contact?
Christa Burns is the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska. She
can be reached at the Library Commission via
email, or by
calling 402-471-3107, or 800-307-2665.