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E-Rate

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Public school districts, nonpublic schools, area education agencies and public libraries are eligible to apply for funding under the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) "E-Rate" Program. E-Rate provides discounts on telecommunications services (such as data circuits and Internet) and internal connections (such as routers and switches).

Funding Year 2023

E-Rate Form 471 Webinars

The E-Rate program Form 471 application “window” for funding year 2023 (2023-24 school year) opens on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. CST and closes on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 10:59 p.m. CDT. The last possible date to file form 470 and still have the required 28-day waiting period is Feb. 28.

The Form 471 is available through the “EPC” portal. To ensure you apply correctly, you are encouraged to participate in one of the informational webinars.

Sessions are repeats and no advance registration is needed.

For those unable to participate in any session, a recording will be made available after February 14. To obtain a link to the recording, contact Pam Jacobs at pam.jacobs@iowa.gov or 515-975-0071.

E-Rate Form 470 Webinars

Webinars were held on Dec. 6 and 8, 2022. Contact Pam Jacobs at pam.jacobs@iowa.gov if you would like to receive a recording of the webinar.

Information presented in each webinar focus on both Category 1 and Category 2 requests, as well as a reminder to update each school’s enrollment and National School Lunch Program figures. Even if you filed E-Rate forms many times in the past, you are urged to watch a recording.

Updating Enrollment and National School Lunch Data for E-Rate Webinar

Webinars were held on Nov. 16 and 17, 2022. Contact Pam Jacobs at pam.jacobs@iowa.gov if you would like to receive a recording of the webinar.

During the past two E-Rate funding cycles, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed E-Rate applicants to rely upon fall 2019 enrollment and National School Lunch/CEP data for calculating E-Rate discounts. The FCC has announced that for the upcoming funding cycle (funding year 2023), fall 2022 data must be used.

The upcoming webinars (repeat sessions) will focus on the following items in your district/school E-Rate portal (aka EPC at portal.usac.org).

  1. Ensuring the "users" listed in the district/school portal are up to date
  2. Ensuring that the schools and non-instructional facilities are listed accurately
  3. Updating the enrollment and NSLP/CEP data for each school
  4. Checking on the Category 2 "budget" and updating the Category 2 enrollment, if advantageous for the district/school

(Item number 4 above can be a particularly tricky situation, depending upon individual circumstances. Pam Jacobs will demo how to determine whether to leave your Category 2 enrollment as is or whether it is better for you to update the enrollment).

E-Rate Newcomer's Webinar

Webinars were held on Oct. 26 and Nov. 3, 2022. Contact Pam Jacobs at pam.jacobs@iowa.gov if you would like to receive a recording of the webinar.

Are you new to E-Rate or do you simply want a refresher about the E-Rate program? Attend a one-hour webinar to go over the process to apply for funds and to discuss what is eligible for E-Rate support.