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E-rate Funding for Libraries: Overview

Federal funding for internet access

What is E-rate?

E-rateThe Universal Service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as E-rate, helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain telecommunications and Internet access at affordable rates. The program, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), located in Washington, DC, provides discounts on these services and some hardware. E-rate is a national program funded through FCC fees collected on your phone bills.

E-rate Overview

All of the information provided on these pages is related to E-rate services for public libraries. Schools are also eligible for E-rate funding, but they are not addressed on this site.

Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act.

A library includes:

  • A public library
  • A public elementary school or secondary school library
  • An academic library
  • A research library, which for the purposes of this definition means a library that:
    • makes publicly available library services and material suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public; and
    • is not an integral part of an institution of higher education
  • A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of this definition

A library's eligibility for support also depends on its funding as an independent entity. Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities) are eligible to receive discounted services.

For questions about the E-rate Program, call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 on weekdays between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Supply Chain Audits in 2022

New Supply Chain Guidance Now Live on USAC.org

Participants of the universal service programs, as well as the COVID-19 Broadband Programs, are being called on to do their part to help ensure the integrity of our communications networks and the communications supply chain. 

USAC updated the Supply Chain webpage to include three new pages: COVID-19 Broadband Programs, Audits, and FAQs

Beginning Q1 2022, USAC will conduct supply chain audits to determine USF recipients’ compliance with these new supply chain rules. USAC will select a sample of service providers and program participants to audit. These audits will continue on a rolling basis over the next few years and will be separate from BCAP audits or PQA assessments.

USAC also created Supply Chain FAQs to provide clarity around commonly asked questions. USAC will update this section as new FAQs become available. 

You're Invited: Supply Chain Audit Webinar - Nov. 9

USAC will host a supply chain audit webinar. This session will be held on Tuesday, November 9 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any questions they have that relate to the supply chain audit process. The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Program participant responsibilities
  • USAC's role and responsibilities
  • Our audit approach
  • How to prepare for these audits

The webinar is free to anyone; registration is required.
 

Register Now

The supply chain certification process is ever-evolving, and it is the responsibility of participating providers to stay up-to-date on this topic and to comply with the supply chain rules.

For additional supply chain details and background, please review the Supply Chain webpage

CT E-rate Coordinator

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Christine Gauvreau
Contact:
786 South Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
860-704-2224

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