E-Rate is a federal program that provides discounts on telecommunications and information technology (IT) services for eligible schools and libraries. It helps ensure that these institutions have access to the latest technologies so they can provide their students and patrons with the best possible educational and informational resources.
Schools and libraries can receive discounts of up to 90% on eligible services. In order to be eligible, schools and libraries must meet certain requirements, such as having a high percentage of students or patrons who use the internet.
The E-Rate program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which is a non-profit organization funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). USAC works with service providers to ensure that schools and libraries receive the discounts they are entitled to.
The E-Rate program has been in place since 1996 and has helped billions of dollars in discounts be awarded to schools and libraries. In recent years, the program has been criticized for being too complex and difficult to navigate, but the FCC is working to make it easier for schools and libraries to apply for and receive discounts.