Welcome to E-Rate! This is a Federally funded program that provides funding for telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections to K-12 schools and public libraries on an annual basis. Applicants can receive from 20% to 90% discounts on their services, based on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program statistics.
The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program, helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain high-speed Internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates.
This guide will hopefully be of assistance for navigating the E-Rate program.
E-rate Website: http://usac.org/sl
To access most forms, applicants will be using the E-Rate Productivity Center, or EPC (pronounced Epic). Also referred to as the portal, EPC not only allows applicants to file forms, but also keeps data from prior years.
There are 3-5 forms that an applicant will fill out during a typical E-rate cycle. The forms are:
Form 470: Posting of an applicant’s FCC Form 470 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) opens the required competitive bidding process.
Form 471: Applicants file an FCC Form 471 (Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form) to request discounts on eligible services and equipment for the upcoming funding year.
Form 486: FCC Form 486 notifies USAC that the billed entity and/or the eligible entities that it represents is receiving, or has received, service in the relevant funding year from the named service provider(s).
Form 472 (optional if you receive discounted bills): Applicants file an FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form) to request reimbursement from USAC for the discount costs of the eligible products or services that the applicant has received and paid for in full.
Form 500 (optional): The FCC Form 500 (Funding Commitment Adjustment Request Form) is used to submit changes to funding requests after USAC has issued commitments for those requests.
Reimbursements are only made via direct deposit via the Schools and Libraries Division. In order to set up this direct deposit, each applicant will need to file Form 498. This is typically a one-time form, although applicants will need to re-file this form if their account information changes.