E-Rate is the single largest technology related funding available to Libraries and Schools focusing on the most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap and level the playing field for education and learning. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made available $3.9 Billion to the E-Rate Program on an annual recurring basis. Reimbursements are based on the National School Lunch Program percentage and can be as high as 90 percent. E-Rate is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), a not-for-profit administrator of the Universal Service Fund through the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program with guidance from the FCC. FCC took major steps to modernize and streamline the E-rate program Click here to read more about E-rate Modernization.
Arizona State Library together with Arizona Department of Education is working with libraries and schools to make the most of the E-Rate dollars available to them. In addition to discounts that they are already eligible for over the next two years, FCC has provided up to 10% additional funding for Broadband buildout, provided it is matched by State funds. Arizona State Library and Arizona Dept. of Education worked with Corporation Commission to secure $8 Million for the next two years for Broadband build out to rural schools and libraries.If you wish to upgrade your bandwidth, please contact your State E-rate Administrator (select Mala from the category dropdown) for the procedures.
Arizona State Broadband STRATEGIC PLAN
Arizona State Broadband Initiative
Arizona Broadband Initiative – State Matching Funds
Arizona State Library together with Arizona Department of Education is working with libraries and schools to make the most of the E-Rate dollars available to them. In addition to discounts that they are already eligible for over the next two years, FCC has provided up to 10% additional funding for Broadband buildout, provided it is matched by State funds.
Impact of E-rate in Arizona
Since the program began in 1998, Arizona libraries have received more than $24 Million in E-rate reimbursements. Because of the reimbursements Libraries across Arizona have been able to upgrade their bandwidth, pay the recurring cost of internet access as well as upgrade wiring and internal connections. The increased bandwidth has enabled them to provide all kinds of programs, including job searching, GED testing, college prep, and code clubs. The extra bandwidth can also make it easier for patrons to access the internet with their own devices in the library.
Trainings and Presentations
Arizona State Master Contracts
While filing Form 470 please choose the correct dropdown table for Category 1 from this table.
Our State Master Contracts for Internet (Category 1) is valid only till June 30 2020. So for the coming cycle we do not currently have a valid State Master Contract.
State Procurement is working on it and they will have it in place in the coming weeks. But here is what you do if you do not have your own valid contracts (which you entered into with the service provider after doing your own RFP or Form 470).
If your current contracts are not valid up to June 30, 2021 or is based on the State Master Contract, you have to:
- File your 470 for the services you are seeking, wait 28 days, select a vendor, enter into a contract and then file Form 471 before March 25th 2020.
- Follow the attached State Replacement Contract methodology. In this case you don’t have to do the RFP or file Form 470.
The current contracts (expiring June 30th ) are at https://azlibrary.gov/erate. Scroll down to” State Filed form 470” and click on the link to the PDF. It will open an excel spreadsheet with tabs for each service provider.
Category Two consists of Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. The highest discount level for Category Two services will be 85 percent. Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) piloted some changes for the period 2014- 2019. On December 3, the FCC released the new order making permanent some of the changes and modifying others based on stakeholders’ comments. This was for 2021 onwards. 2020 is an interim year with its own budget (see below).
For FY 2020 (a transition year) - 2020 is an interim year will be a bridge year with its own rules and the major changes will be put into effect for 2021.
Category 2 Contracts for AZ: E-rate eligible Master Contracts are available through Mohave Educational Consortium Mohave Educational Services Cooperative Inc. The contracts to look for are with Camnet (18K-ELITE-1109), Logicalis (19B-ELOG1-0307), Nvision (19B-ENVIS-0307) and Vector USA (19B-EVECT-0307). FCC Form 470 #190015932; contract valid until 9-7- 2023. Please open links with Internet Explorer.
Attached is the Mohave Member Handbook. Pages 14-15 discusses E-Rate procurement process.
Major Changes for 2021: A number of ALA’s recommendations were adopted in the final order, which includes changes intended to encourage more libraries to apply for their share of the $4.15 billion program. Changes that will take effect in the 2021 funding year include:
- The funding floor will increase from the initial $9,200 to $25,000, which should make a real difference for small libraries deciding whether to take on the application process.
- There will be a single square-foot formula of $4.50 for all libraries urban or rural—a significant improvement for small libraries, but short of the current $5.32 for larger libraries.
- The five-year budget cycle will be adjusted for inflation at the start of each five-year period rather than every year.
- The budget will be made at the library system (and school district) level instead of at the individual library branch which allows the County Librarian more flexibility in spending on the main library and branches.
Denying funding for network equipment which poses a threat to national security FCC passed a new order prohibiting USAC from funding for network equipment which poses a threat to national security. Initially, both Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation are designated as being covered under the prohibition. (See Order paragraph 1). The Rulemaking is looking at funding the replacement of equipment already in place.