Using the E-Rate Program to Support Internet for Classrooms

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking steps to ensure that all U.S. schools and libraries have access to robust broadband, and in recent years approved further modernization of its popular E-Rate program. This effort aims to make telecommunications, information services and school internet more affordable for schools and libraries across America.

The ability to access the internet at school offers many benefits for teachers, students and the schools themselves. For teachers, it is easy to access information, materials and multimedia sources to present a topic in the classroom. The internet also makes it easier for schools and teachers to engage with parents and to make sure that parents are aware of everything from homework and grades to attendance each day.

For students, the internet opens a vast library of resources, making it easier to research topics and gather additional information on specific subjects. For students in economically depressed areas, school may be the only place that the internet is accessible; those in higher grades may need access to accurately complete assignments and truly thrive in school.

Even schools benefit from internet connectivity. A school or district with a small budget or that simply can’t afford to stock library shelves with learning materials can benefit greatly from online access. Both teachers and students can access the information needed to complete or supplement lessons online, instead of trying to work without key elements or the correct materials for the assignment at hand.

Affordable School Internet via the E-Rate Program

While schools benefit greatly from internet access, broadband for schools can be prohibitively expensive, particularly in economically depressed areas. Districts that are very rural or very urban with at-risk students may be particularly hard pressed to get the school internet they need to succeed in the classroom and in the years to come. The Federal E-rate for schools program allows organizations to access telecommunications and internet at a steeply discounted rate and can help bridge the gap for low-income areas.

What Is E-Rate for Schools?

Sponsored by the Federal government and available until 2019, this program is designed to offer school broadband to improve the lives of students and teachers in low-income districts. To participate and receive low-cost internet, a school or organization needs to take the following steps:

  • Research the low-cost internet program for schools
  • Submit a request for bids for E-Rate eligible services from school internet providers (including phone and internet) to the USAC
  • Choose a provider
  • Receive services at a greatly discounted rate and offer internet for classrooms and for your teachers and students.

You can also read one of our recent articles, Top 5 Benefits of E-Rate Funding for more information.

Need Internet for Classrooms? We Are Here to Help.

Cable ONE Business can help you navigate the complexities of the E-Rate program and get high-speed internet for classrooms. We offer the following “category one” E-Rate eligible services:

Internet and Data Services

 Telecommunication Services

Contact Cable ONE

We are happy to assist your school (or district) with the process of applying for the E-Rate program. Call 844.466.0271 today to learn more about how we can assist you with applying for this beneficial program.