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iOS App Tracks E-Rate Account Data

E-Rate Manager for iPhone lets users view account data related to E-Rate requests and commitments.

A free app recently released for Apple iOS devices allows users to log in and view data related to their school or district's E-Rate account. E-Rate is the common moniker used for the FCC's Schools and Libraries Program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Co. that supports schools and libraries with discounts on telecommunications equipment and computing hardware and services. E-Rate Manager for iPhone, from Funds For Learning, allows schools to access their funding requests and commitment amounts, the names of their service providers, and their remaining funding balances from their Apple device. They must be subscribers to Funds for Learning's application E-Rate Manager for Applicants.

E-Rate provides discounts on certain services and products that enable schools and libraries to receive voice, video, and data communications. Funds for Learning is an E-Rate compliance service that works with schools and districts to manage their E-Rate programs. The iPhone app is a mobile version of the company's E-Rate Manager application.

That primary application provides multiple features: the ability to track funding status and balances, to receive e-mail alert on changes, to help the applicant fill out and submit paperwork, to handle record-keeping for compliance, to maintain notes related to E-Rate activities, and to learn about the E-Rate program through a set of online learning resources. The application price starts at $249 per year.

"Timing is everything with the E-Rate process, and we recognized that our customers need to have their funding information at their fingertips at a moment's notice," said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning.

Added President Cathy Cruzan, "We recognized that the industry was devoid of E-Rate apps for mobile devices, but if we were going to develop an app, we wanted to develop something that was worthy of the E-Rate Manager name.... ERM for iPhone delivers the functionality and information users have grown to expect from E-Rate Manager."

The new app requires iOS 3.0 or better and an Internet connection. While anyone can download the application, users will need to have an active E-Rate Manager account in order to access the information.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.