Survey Seeks Input on E-rate Program, Deadline June 17

Funds for Learning, an Oklahoma-based firm specializing in the federal E-rate funding program, is conducting a nationwide survey of schools and libraries, gathering feedback about the E-rate program to submit to the FCC. The survey is online at this site, and the deadline is Friday, June 17.

The E-rate program, also known as the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, provides discounts on certain services and products that are essential for classrooms and libraries to receive voice, video and data communications. This includes firewall protection, domain name service, Internet access service, cables and WiFi.

The amount of the E-rate discount depends on several factors and ranges from 20 percent to 90 percent of the cost of eligible services.

To be eligible to receive discounts, a school or library must meet certain eligibility criteria. In general, elementary and secondary schools are eligible to receive discounts, including many private and religious schools. Most public libraries also qualify.

The survey is the firm’s sixth annual. Questions include: How important is E-rate funding to your organization? And: What was your experience dealing with the new EPC system? (This year was the first time the FCC used an online portal submission system. The window for submissions was extended, but closed May 26.)

The survey is considered an opportunity to provide feedback to the FCC without having to prepare a formal letter. After the survey closes, Funds for Learning will submit the results to the FCC and share them with the public in the fall.

The survey data will be compiled and submitted into the official docket for review by FCC staff. It is also circulated to Congressional offices and to the media.

All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. More information about the survey is available in this video and on the Funds for Learning website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].