Rhea’s E-Rate Rap

Rhea Fawley
Rhea Fawley
Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

At Connection, we participate in E-Rate. This is a federally funded program managed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to help K–12 schools and libraries with telecommunications and Internet connectivity. E-Rate is a multi-billion-dollar program. As of June 15, 2018, USAC stated that not only were all applicants approved, but the committed funds have totaled over $1.18 billion for Category 2 alone.

E-Rate provides a discount from 20% to 90% on two categories. They are referred to as Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 services include data transmission services and Internet access, and also includes voice services. However, to focus on the support of high-speed broadband for digital learning, voice services will be phased out 100% by the 2019 funding year. Category 2 services include LAN/WAN, internal connections components, basic maintenance for those components, and managed internal broadband services.

Finding out if a school or library is eligible to receive E-Rate funds is simple. For schools, it is based on their Title 1-A program. The Title 1 program for schools is also a federally funded program that give schools additional funds in order to bridge educational gaps. Title 1-A is also known as the schools free and reduced lunch program. USAC uses this program as a tool to determine if a school is eligible for E-Rate funds, and what their discount percentage will be. It does not mirror exactly the same—so if a school receives 70% of Title 1 funds, that does not mean they will be receive a 70% discount for E-Rate. Libraries are also E-Rate eligible. Since they do not have a Title 1-A program, USAC determines their discount based on the school district that the library falls under.

As a Category 2 vendor, Connection handles networking equipment that is listed as eligible to USAC standards. These items include:

  • Wireless Access Points/Wireless Controllers
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Antennas (must be integral to the LAN/WAN)
  • Firewall Equipment
  • Internal Structured Cabling (unless solely dedicated to voice)
  • Caching Servers (these are the only eligible servers)
  • Racks that house eligible equipment
  • UPS that support eligible equipment
  • Cloud-based functionality of eligible equipment
  • Licenses for eligible equipment (can apply for multi-year license in year 1 of your contract)
  • Software that supports eligible equipment
  • Limited basic maintenance services for eligible equipment
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services (MIBS)
  • Taxes, surcharges, and other similar reasonable charges
  • Shipping charges
  • Training on how to use eligible equipment
  • Installation and configuration (not required to be the equipment vendor)

E-Rate also takes into consideration that when a natural disaster strikes and heavily impacts a school or territory, help is available via discounts for any equipment that was damaged or destroyed as long as the affected items requested are E-Rate eligible.



There are several options available to help applicants get their Category 2 services totally free.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Rhea’s E-Rate Rap to find out how!

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Rhea Fawley

Rhea Fawley is an E-rate Sales Specialist at Connection, specializing in the education marketplace. When she’s not helping customers solve IT challenges or navigate the E-Rate process, you’ll find her reading, writing, or taking her two young children on adventures.


© 2017 Connection, Inc. All rights reserved.