Introduction to E-Rate
E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and libraries for purchases of telecommunication services and network equipment and services. The program is governed by the FCC and administered by USAC, the Universal Services Corporation.
Eligible equipment and services are broadband circuits; internet service or access; voice services (which are being phased out); network infrastructure such as routers, switches, and access points; and network services such as maintenance and management. In general, expenses required to connect devices within a school to the Internet are eligible for discounts. End-user devices such as tablets, laptops, and tablets, however, are not eligible.
Discount rates range from 20% - 90% and are based on poverty and rural or urban status. High-poverty rural schools receive largest discounts, and low-poverty urban schools receive the smallest discounts. The USAC Discount Matrix shows how discount rates are calculated.