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E-rate Funding for Libraries: ISP FAQs

Federal funding for internet access

FAQs

What is it?

CEN began to charge libraries for internet service on July 1, 2016. The statewide buying consortium wants to help you find money from E-rate to pay a portion of your new internet bill. Through a competitive bid process, the consortium will select the vendor that provides the most cost-effective option for internet service. This vendor may or may not be CEN.

What am I committing to?

  • Signing the LOA does not commit you to anything. It just indicates interest in learning more.
  • Filing a Form 471 does not commit you to anything. It means you're asking the E-rate program to help pay for part of your internet bill. You still have time to change your mind about taking E-rate funding and becoming CIPA compliant.
  • You're not committed to anything until you file a Form 486 with E-rate to indicate that your service has started, and you certify your library's CIPA compliance.

When will this all happen?

The consortium evaluation team will review bids in December 2018 and make an announcement of the selected vendor. You will have between January 10 and March 20, 2019, to file a Form 471 to request a discount from E-rate for your internet service from that vendor.

What do I have to do to participate?

  • Sign and submit a Letter of Agency to Maria Bernier.
  • Sign a "Terms of Service" agreement with the vendor, once selected.
  • File a Form 471 to request E-rate funding to cover part of your internet bill.

I'm not ready!

We'll do this again every year. Stay tuned.

How do I learn more?

More Answers

I need help with my Form 471!

Download the Word doc titled "Instructions for Form 471 for ISP" and/or attend one of the drop-in assistance sessions.

Bring with you or have handy:

  • EPC username and password
  • FCC registration number
  • estimate of any related expenses for new computers or software you expect to purchase in the next FY plus monthly costs for internet service

Zoom  Assistance Sessions:

How do I sign an agreement for internet service?

Contact the vendor, once selected.

Do I have to filter?

YES. If you accept E-rate funding to help pay for your internet service, your library must be CIPA compliant, including filtering. Learn more about E-rate's CIPA rules: http://usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/cipa.aspx

For more information, read the page on CIPA and Filters.

An April 2013 article in American Libraries provides helpful guidance on filtering and CIPA: "Filtering and the First Amendment," by Deborah Caldwell-Stone.

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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