E-Rate - or, more precisely, Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) - provides discounts to assist schools, school systems, and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Since the inception of E-Rate in 1997, the Georgia DOE (GaDOE) has filed for and received E-Rate discounts to build the Statewide K-12 Network. The GaDOE has received over $500 million in E-Rate funding. Although there is a great deal of money available through E-Rate for telecommunications infrastructure, the process is somewhat complex and timing of certain forms and applications are critical.
The following flowchart details the process flow to apply for E-Rate: http://www.universalservice.org/sl/about/overview-process.aspx
E-Rate: Technology Planning E-Rate requires approved technology plans as a prerequisite for receiving Internet access or internal connections discounts. There are five specific areas that the technology plan must address in order to be meet E-Rate compliance and receive technology plan approval:
Establish clear goals
Have a professional development strategy
Include an assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services
Provide for a sufficient budget to acquire and support the non-discounted elements of the plan
Include an evaluation process
In addition to meeting the above criteria, the timing of completing the technology plan is equally important. The technology plan must be WRITTEN before the Form 470 (competitive bid) is filed. Any services being requested within the Form 470 must be included within the technology plan. The written technology plan must also cover the entire fiscal year for which E-Rate funds are being requested. The plan must be APPROVED by GADOE before E-Rate services have started (Form 486).
For more information regarding system technology plans, please visit System Technology Planning.
For assistance in revising or creating a new technology plan, please contact your Educational Technology Center.
Eligible Services List
The Eligible Service List provides guidance on the eligibility of products and services under the Schools and Libraries Program.
USAC Required Forms
All Schools and Libraries forms are available for download. Files are available in PDF (http://get.adobe.com/reader/) and may be printed.
Forms Collected by the GADOE: Letter Of Agency
The following is an excerpt from the portion of the SLD web site that addresses Letters of Agency. Please review the entire SLD guidelines concerning Letters of Agency for specific requirements and additional guidance.
"The authorized person on the Form 471 — the person whose signature appears in the Form 471 Item 34 — certifies that he or she is the person authorized to submit and certify to the accuracy of the application. This person must be authorized to represent any and all of the entities for which discounts are sought in the funding requests featured on the application. During its review of the Form 471, the SLD may require copies of the documentation that confirms this person’s authorization to represent all of the entities featured on the Form 471."
"The evidence that establishes this authorization — and therefore, that establishes the relationship between the authorized person and the entities featured on the form — is generally a Letter of Agency (LOA). A Letter of Agency (LOA) is most commonly signed by consortium members and kept on file by their consortium leader to verify their knowledge of their membership and participation in the consortium. Other vehicles to establish this authorization could be a project agreement, a contract, a letter agreement, or other similar document."
The FCC Form 479, Certification by Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, provides notification to a Billed Entity by an Administrative Authority of the status of the Administrative Authority's compliance for the purposes of CIPA. The Billed Entity will then certify on its FCC Form 486, Receipt of Service Confirmation Form, that it has collected duly completed and signed Forms 479 from Administrative Authorities that the Billed Entity represents. Starting in Funding Year 2002 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2002), Form 479 also provides notification to the Billed Entity of a request for waiver by the Administrative Authority.
E-Rate Training Presentations
Schools and Libraries Division (Schools and Libraries Program Training Presentations Archive).
SLD Training Site
This training site, http://sldtraining.usac.org/, may be utilized for E-Rate Applicant Beginners.
Letters of Agency Funding Years 2010 – 2012