What is E-Rate?

Report
Federal E-Rate
Opportunities for your business –
offering discounted services for Schools & Libraries
What is E-Rate?
• The FCC's E-rate program is a program for connecting
the nation's schools and libraries to broadband. It is
the government's largest educational technology
program. When E-rate was established in 1996, only 14
percent of the nation's K-12 classrooms had access to
the Internet. Today, virtually all schools and libraries
have Internet access.
• Universal Service support provides discounts only for
telephone service, Internet access and internal
connections. The discounts range from 20 to 90
percent, depending on the household income level of
students in the community and whether the school or
library is located in a rural or urban area.
Who Pays for Universal Service
Programs?
•
All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications
must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their interstate and
international end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include wireline,
wireless phone companies, paging service companies and Interconnected Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) providers. These telecom companies may pass on these contributions to
their end users through federal USF surcharges.
•
Contributions telecom providers make to USF fund these programs:
– Lifeline/Link Up. This program provides discounts on monthly service and initial
telephone installation or activation fees for primary residences to income-eligible
consumers.
– High-Cost. This program ensures that consumers in all regions of the nation have access
to telecommunications services at rates that are affordable and reasonably comparable
to those in urban areas.
– Schools and Libraries. This program makes discounts available to eligible schools and
libraries for eligible telecommunications services, Internet access and internal
connections so that schools and libraries may have access to affordable
telecommunications and information services.
– Rural Health Care. This program helps link health care providers located in rural areas to
urban medical centers so that patients living in rural America will have access to the
same advanced diagnostic and other medical services that are enjoyed in urban
communities.
Advantages to Obtaining a SPIN to
Participate in the E-Rate Program
• Offer Schools & Libraries discounts on services
they need to purchase
• Your company will be prepared and ready to act
should an opportunity come through.
• Opportunity to compete for business
• Identify leads through USAC’s Search Tools:
http://www.usac.org/sp/tools/default.aspx
• No outlay of money by your company for being
able to offer discounted services
Getting Started
• Must have a FRN & Filer ID number prior to submitting a 498 form
• Fill out Form 498 to obtain Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN):
http://www.usac.org/sp/tools/forms.aspx
– Block 3 requires the service provider’s Federal Employer Identification
Number (Federal EIN or tax ID number), business structure, and Dunn and
Bradstreet Identification Number (DUNS). http://www.dnb.com/get-a-dunsnumber.html
– Page 7- Automated Clearing House (ACH) information: Financial institution
information is required. Electronic payment of universal service support
payments is mandated by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.
– Block 17: Principal Communications Business Types – This must match the
Business Types you have selected on your 499-A filing in Block 1, Line Item
105.
•
•
High Cost, Low Income, Rural Health Care programs
SPIN assignment in 2-4 weeks
Schools & Libraries Applicants
• Refer potential S&L applicants to:
http://www.usac.org/sl/about/gettingstarted/default.aspx
– Eligibility
– Services eligible for discount
– Application process
• The process starts with a request for services and
ends when the Applicant selects a cost-effective
provider. Then a contract is signed, and the
discounted services can begin.
Invoicing for Services
•
USAC can process invoices from either the applicant or the service provider after the following have
occurred:
– USAC has issued a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) with a positive funding commitment;
– Services have started (USAC can process invoices for progress payments after review of the contract
if it includes a specific payment schedule);
– The applicant has submitted, and USAC has successfully processed, an FCC Form 486; and
– The service provider has filed an FCC Form 473 for the relevant funding year.
•
There are two methods that can be used to invoice USAC. Once USAC has processed an invoice for a
Funding Request Number (FRN), that method of invoicing must be used for that FRN for the remainder of
the invoicing process.
Invoicing Method #1
•
–
•
Invoicing Method #2
–
–
–
•
Applicants file the FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form if they have paid you in full for
the services and want to be reimbursed for the discount amount.
You file the FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form if you have billed the applicant for the non-discount
amount (the applicant's share of the cost) and want to be reimbursed for the discount amount.
USAC will review the SPI Form and process a payment to you if payment is approved.
The applicant is always required to pay the non-discount portion of the cost of the services.
USAC strongly encourages electronic invoicing for service providers that will frequently bill USAC or for
those that submit only a few line items for each invoice. Those service providers should use the online
filing option for the FCC Form 474.
•
http://www.usac.org/sl/service-providers/step05/electronic-invoicing.aspx
Links to Information
•
Service Provider Information: http://www.usac.org/sp/
•
Forms: Applicants and Providers
– http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/forms/default.aspx
•
Program Deadlines: http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/deadlines/default.aspx
•
Search Tools:
http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/default.aspx
•
Eligible Services List
http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/beforeyoubegin/eligible-services-list.aspx
•
Samples and Examples: http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/samples.aspx
•
Latest News: http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news/default.aspx
•
Acronyms and Terms: http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/handouts/SL-Glossaryof-Terms.pdf
Schools & Libraries News Brief Subscription
• http://www.usac.org/about/tools/publications/subscription-center.aspx
• Commitments for Funding Years 2013 and 2012
• Funding Year 2013. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 13
Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) August 14. This wave
includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications
Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of August
9, FY2013 commitments total over $338 million and encompass 18,555 of
FY2013 applications.
• Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 55 FCDLs August 15.
This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal
Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at
89 percent and below. As of August 9, FY2012 commitments total over
$2.71 billion.
• On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a
commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool.
Does the FCC’s Schools and Libraries Support
Mechanism Duplicate State and Local Efforts?
• No. The FCC's Schools and Libraries program
complements the efforts of states and
localities to link the nation’s classrooms and
libraries to the information superhighway.
• Most states do not allow VoIP providers to
participate in state programs, but may require
contributions based on Intrastate revenue.
What’s New? –
FCC asking for Comments
• July 19, 2013 - FCC LAUNCHES MODERNIZATION OF E-RATE
PROGRAM TO DELIVER STUDENTS & TEACHERS ACCESS TO HIGHCAPACITY BROADBAND NATIONWIDE
• Modernization of the E-rate program will be built around 3 goals:
increased broadband capacity, cost-effective purchasing, and
streamlined program administration.
• To meet the needs of today's students, teachers, and library patrons
the Commission sets forth three proposed goals to modernize the
E-rate program and seeks comment on options to advance these
goals:
– Increased connectivity to high-capacity broadband
– Efficient purchasing through bulk buying, consortia, and competitive
bidding improvements
– Cutting red tape to speed up, streamline, and increase transparency in
application reviews
Comments (Cont’d)
• The proposal also seeks comment on a variety of other
issues, including the applicability of the Children's
Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to devices brought into
schools and libraries and to devices provided by
schools and libraries for at-home use; adjusting to
changes in the National School Lunch Program that
affect E-rate; additional measures for protecting the
program from waste, fraud and abuse; wireless
community hotspots; and the adoption of E-rate
program procedures in the event of a national
emergency or natural disaster.
Q&A
Contact Information
• Carol Lisowski, Regulatory Consultant,
CHLSolutions
• [email protected] (702) 497.8730
• Karen Lindquist, E-Rate Specialist
• [email protected]
• www.telecom-regulatory-compliance.com

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