E-Rate – How It Can Cut Your Costs
The federal E-rate program is designed to help schools and other organizations afford effective telecommunications solutions that allow them to accomplish their mission. A certified E-rate vendor is essential to securing the right solution and keeping you within budget.
What Is the E-Rate Program?
E-rate is a program developed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), an independent nonprofit that facilitates affordable telecommunications solutions for schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has oversight of this program.
According to the US Department of Education, the E-rate program “provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access.”
Particularly for rural schools and libraries, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that E-rate makes modern education viable.
Helping Schools and Libraries Thrive
Here’s how it works: public and nonprofit K-12 schools, all public libraries, and many private libraries carry out a bidding process whereby certified E-rate vendors such as Virtual Technologies Group compete to provide cost-effective IT services.
E-rate funding is provided to participants for five service categories:
- Telecommunications services
- Internet access
- Internal connections
- Basic internal connection maintenance
Depending on the level of poverty in the region the school or library serves and on the urban/rural nature of the area, E-rate funding can range from 20 to 90 percent of the costs of services rendered. Virtual Technologies Group also offers additional educational discounts that enable us to win that bidding process and provide services that are unmatched in both affordability and quality.
The Nuts and Bolts of E-Rate Eligibility
Let’s dig into the details for a bit. The US Department of Education says that to qualify for E-rate funding:
“schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to be eligible for support (20 U.S.C. § 7801(18) and (38)). Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (Pub. L. 104-208) (LSTA) and must be eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under that Act. Details about eligibility and getting started in the E-rate Program are located on the Schools and Libraries Before You Begin section of the USAC website.
If you think you might qualify but aren’t sure, Virtual Technologies Group is here to help. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through the application process.
Hook: The E-rate program is designed to make telecommunications solutions affordable for schools with budgetary restraints. Let Virtual Technologies Group guide you through the process.
Test Your Tests
Virtual Technologies Group offers additional discounts for educational institutions to get their telecommunications and internal connections up to snuff. We also offer a range of services that enhance your educational capabilities.
Virtual Technologies Group has expertise in virtual education that many IT firms simply can’t match. Especially for rural school districts, expanding your ability to broadcast educational and test-taking opportunities can make all the difference in the world to students and their communities.
When it comes to testing, we help ensure that results are kept secure, you are meeting compliance requirements, and that all students are being treated fairly. With these principles in mind, we customize our solutions to meet the unique needs of your specific educational program. No two schools are alike, and our solutions are tailored for each of our clients to meet educational outcome goals.
From assisting in the administration of tests to continuous technical support throughout the process, we offer a truly holistic solution that few others can match. Our experience allows us to keep our support in house, with technicians ready to give you the answers you need right away instead of passing you around on the phone.
A Certified E-Rate Vendor
If you are looking for guidance through the E-rate application process or are simply curious about what sort of funding assistance you can get for tele-education solutions, Virtual Technologies Group is here to help. We’re experts in the E-rate process. For public institutions on a tight budget, any cost savings that can be found have a direct impact on educational outcomes.
Virtual Technologies Group offers incredibly affordable solutions designed for this specific market. Connect with us today to learn more!