What is eRate?


How Did It All Begin

The eRate program was established by the Communications Act of 1996 and is administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of The Federal Communications Commission (FCC). CTI eRate Services has been working with the program since its inception and has helped schools and districts qualify for funds ranging from a few thousand to over $47 million to implement technology and improve education.

We can assist with everything from the initial form submissions to the experienced project management required for district-wide network upgrades.

Many schools and districts lack the personnel or more directly the time to investigate, process and complete all 14 stages of each cycle. If you've been involved in the process you know that during certain times of the school year, you can be working on three Funding Years at the same time.

Let us help your schools qualify for funding while assuring program compliance. CTI eRate Services can work with you to reduce current costs and acquire new technology at a greatly reduced cost.

How the Process Works

Schools need new technology to prepare students for careers in a rapidly changing world. The eRate program provides up to $2.25 billion annually to non-profit K-12 schools for eligible technology services and improvements. The amount a school can receive is based on NSLP and can range from 20% to 90% of actual costs. The process can be complicated, but the reward is significant. We can take the complexities out of the program for you, thus allowing your personnel to focus on educating students and the necessary tools to do so.

Is Filing Really Getting Easier?

You tell us... with recent changes by SLD and other organizations to curb "Waste, Fraud and Abuse" and the fact that recently USAC has escalated the number of "Selective Reviews" and "On-site Audits" there is no doubt in our minds that this has expanded our work on schools involved in these types of processes.

In recent years, service providers are telling us that one of the first questions they ask is... "Are you using an eRate consultant?" And if not, encourage them to consider this option.

Hiring an eRate Consultant

Most eRate Service companies are not experts on the technology they file for. When you hire a consultant or service company, ask if they understand the difference in not only what is eligible but what is a good, reliable fit for your infrastructure.

Our goal is to enhance that process as a long term agenda is established. During our relationship, it is our responsibility to keep up with not only eRate modifications, but to also know the technology you are filing for. Superintendents and Technology Directors already have a full-time job. Too often the mandatory steps throughout the year become nail-biting, eleventh-hour filing, with only a cloudy understanding of the SLD guidelines.

Why not let us file your forms well before the deadlines and keep the service providers out of the picture so there is no potential funding denial because of illegal involvement?

You've got enough work on your plate without worrying about filing forms and memorizing eligibility criteria or a crash-course on program guidelines. CTI Consultants bring knowledge and continuity to the process. We know what works and what causes audits or complete loss of funding. We are familiar with eligible services and with the underlying philosophies that shape the eligibility list.

CTI eRate Services will make sure you have a realistic view of what will be funded and what must be budgeted. No matter what size your district or project, we’ll supply the SLD (Schools and Libraries Division) with the proper content prior to all deadline dates to remove the stress you may be experiencing already.