April 17th, 2018 by Bronson Tang
If you are someone who sells to districts or schools as a vendor then know that this article is important for you; and you need to know about the E-rate program because this program can put a positive impact on your relationship with the schools and whichever district you are dealing with.
What Is The E-rate Program?
It is an undeniable fact that telecommunications and information services are most of the times expensive especially if they are being used on a larger scale like in proper schools and school districts etc. Now, here is where the E-rate program shows up and helps with the cost of the telecommunications. The E-rate program was established by the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission in the year 1996 and the sole purpose of this program was to make telecommunications and other communications services affordable for those who can't bear the huge costs.
This program works all on funds and every year, it is funded by the Universal Service Fund with an amount of $3.9 billion dollars. This program has been a success since 1996 and it is still working because with the help of this program the eligible schools and the libraries can actually apply for different discounts on internal connections, telecommunications services, broadband services and the basic maintenance of the internal connections. These discounts range from 20% to 90% which is a lot.
How Does It Work?
Basically all the eligible schools, school districts and the libraries are supposed to apply for the E-rate program during a time bracket of 27th Feb to 11th of May. Now, the schools can apply and if they get approved for this program as per their eligibility, they are then provided with two categories of discounts. The number 1 category is the one where the discounts are provided on (Data Transmission Services and Internet Access and Voice Services) and the number 2 category is the one with the discounts on (Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Service, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) and these discounts Work throughout the year which is the best thing about them.
After being approved of the discounts and the categories the schools and the districts are then given competitive bids by the vendors for the services they want to use.
Advantages Of The E-rate Program
The E-rate program has been a complete package full of advantages and this is the main reason why it is being funded till now on such a big scale. Internet Access In Schools: Right now almost all the good schools are using tech-based services in order to teach the children in a more efficient way and in such a situation if any school is left out with the opportunity to learn in an advanced way then obviously that will hinder the learning skills of the students but with the help of this program things are being changed and students are introduced to the world of technology for better learning. 20 To 90% Savings:If a school is tight on budget and the financial condition doesn't allow them to use technology then this is where the E-rate program helps them. The 20 to 90% discount is quite a lot of the schools and the libraries to afford the telecommunications and other information services.
Overall this program is working great and the initiative taken back then in 1996 was also something really wise. We do hope that in the future, such programs and initiatives grow more so that the people in the world can use technology and stay up to date no matter what their financial conditions are.