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Your annual ‘eRate Survival Guide’

With $2.3 billion in funding at stake, here’s how to ensure your share

The filing window for the 2013 program year opens soon.

Since its inception in 1997, the federal eRate has disbursed several billion dollars in discounts to help schools and libraries purchase telecommunications services and internet access. The filing window for the 2013 program year opens soon.

Over the years, the eRate has undergone many rule changes to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse—and the application process can be quite confusing. To help you navigate this process with a minimum of pain and a maximum return on your time invested, we’ve assembled this handy guide.

Dispelling 10 common eRate myths

Each fall, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)—the agency that administers the eRate—holds a number of training sessions designed to help applicants wade through the rules and acronyms that accompany the process. Here’s what this year’s training sessions focused on.

How applicants would change the eRate, if they could

Sensing that demand for eRate funding would continue to outpace available funding nearly 2 to 1, last spring Funds For Learning set out to gather the perceptions, predictions, and opinions of eRate applicants through a nationwide survey. Here’s what applicants had to say about their eRate needs and desires.

Leveraging the eRate to get a next-generation communications system

A hosted Voice-over-IP (VoIP) system can save your schools money while improving telecommunications service. What’s more, hosted VoIP is eligible for Priority One funding under the federal eRate program, which provides discounts of up to 90 percent off the cost of telecommunications services to eligible schools and libraries.

The eRate application process is fairly complex—but we’ll make it easy. In this free webinar, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to take advantage of the eRate to get a state-of-the-art communications system that can scale to meet your current—and future—needs.

See also:

New online safety curriculum helps schools document CIPA compliance

Report calls for more broadband access in schools

After 15 years, govt. tells phone companies to follow low-price rule for schools

Petition calls for more eRate funding

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