Use E-rate to Get the Best For Your School

Use E-rate to Get the Best For Your School

The federal government's E-Rate funding for schools can provide your school or district with discounted communications services and equipment that can propel students to improve communication and collaboration.

With E-Rate funding, your school can save 20 – 90% on modern communication technologies like improved phone service and broadband Internet. These discounts on equipment and services can help provide students with the technological edge they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Because navigating the federal E-Rate program can be challenging, Cable ONE Business can help with the process. We have considerable experience with the process of education funding technology with E-Rate, and have helped many schools take advantage of this program.

What is E-Rate?

Under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the E-Rate program, a federal initiative that advances the availability of communications technology by offering affordable communication services to qualified E-Rate schools and libraries.

By qualifying for the E-Rate program, your school can benefit from discounted rates on modern Internet, data and voice services and equipment. These discounts, determined by level of need, are typically between 20 – 90% less expensive than commercial rates. Cable ONE Business services eligible for E-Rate discounts include:

Telecommunication Services
  • Business Phone Service: Standard low-cost phone services with easy-to-manage, robust features—including free long distance
  • Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN): A digital telephone network that transmits voice and data over normal telephone wires, enabling superior voice quality and data reliability when compared to analog phone service
  • Primary Rate Interface (PRI): This replacement service works with your existing PBX or local PRI-compatible phone system; optimal for schools with 25 or more phone numbers
Internet and Data Services
  • Dedicated Internet Access: A dedicated fiber-optic connection from your school to the Cable ONE Business network
  • Ethernet: Enables a network that connects two or more schools anywhere within the U.S.
  • Cable Modem Internet: A low-cost and reliable method for connecting to the Internet, this service typically offers a variety of speed and price options to meet your school's unique needs

How to Enroll in the Federal E-Rate Program

A school must qualify as an eligible entity to receive E-Rate pricing for technology services. To do so, you must submit a number of forms with the USAC. Cable ONE Business is well versed in the E-Rate process, and our experts can help you select services and seek E-Rate qualification.

To enroll as an E-Rate entity, your school must follow these steps:
  1. Competitive Bidding: Your school will need to solicit bids to provide technology services. To begin the process, post FCC Form 470 to the USAC website.
  2. Select Service Providers: Your FCC Form 470 must be publicly available for 28 days before you can officially select service provider(s). You can use a number of selection factors, but price must be the most highly weighted factor.
  3. Apply for Discounts: After you have named a service provider, you will file FCC Form 471, which declares the discounts you were approved for along with your service provider's name. (If you select Cable ONE Business as your vendor, we can assist you in completing this form.)
  4. Application Review: The USAC will submit your application to Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewers to ensure your application is complete and accurate.
  5. Start Services: When your service provider turns on your services, you must file FCC Form 486. This form notifies the USAC that that you have complied with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), your services are running and invoicing can begin.
  6. Invoice: There are two forms that can be filed at this point, depending on whether you or your service provider submits the invoices to the USAC. If you file the invoices, you complete FCC Form 472. If your service provider files, it will use FCC Form 474.

Cable ONE Business is the ISP schools need to provide high-capacity broadband technology to their students. Help your students improve their learning outcomes by providing online educational tools that give them the tools to grow in today's digitally connected landscape. Talk to a Cable One Business E-Rate expert today by calling 844.466.0271 to learn more about E-Rate service benefits and how we can help.