The Telecommunications Act of 1996 established the E-Rate program to provide eligible schools and libraries with discounts on telecommunication and Internet access equipment. New York State’s 2018 funding allocation is over $71 million. The E-Rate program is administered by the School & Library Division of the Universal Services Administrative company (USAC).
To provide technical assistance and facilitate the E-Rate application process, The New York State Education Department (NYSED) partners with E-Rate Central, an organization with extensive experience with the E-Rate program. As of 2016, adult education facilities providing secondary education are also eligible for E-Rate discounts. NYSED strongly urges all schools and libraries to take full advantage of all the E-Rate discounts on telecommunication and Internet access equipment.
Some of the services provided to New York schools and libraries by E-Rate Central are:
- Weekly Email Newsletter for E-Rate coordinators with current news and information. Sign-up at the E-Rate Central Web site.
- E-Rate Question Box for specific E-rate questions.
- E-Rate Central offers half-day E-Rate workshops throughout the State. Workshops will be announced on the E-Rate Central Web site.
- E-Rate Organizer is a Web-based tool that helps schools and libraries organize and analyze their specific E-rate information free of charge, 24 hours a day.
Library E-Rate information can be found on the New York State Library E-Rate for Libraries page.
The process that NYSED will use to validate the eligibility of entities to receive E-Rate funding is outlined in the E-Rate Validation of Schools memo.
Information on how to use SSBA allocation funds to help leverage federal E-rate reimbursements to support modernization goals is available in the Smart Schools Bond Act and E-Rate Leveraging Possibilities document.
For additional information, please contact E-Rate Central by email or (516) 801-7801.