Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

FY2016 Window for Schools closes May 26
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Before You Begin

Updated September 2015

Non-Instructional Facilities

A non-instructional facility (NIF) is a school building without classrooms or a library building without public areas. Non-instructional facilities on school and library property are eligible to receive discounts on data transmission services, Internet access services, and voice services (Category One services).

Examples of NIFs on school property include, but are not limited to, administrative buildings, school bus barns and garages, cafeteria offices, and facilities associated with athletic activities. Examples of NIFs on library property include, but are not limited to, administrative buildings, bookmobile garages, interlibrary loan facilities, and library technology centers.

Eligibility of Category One Services On-site

Category One services provided to NIFs located on school or library property are eligible for support.

Eligibility of Category Two Services On-site

The eligibility of internal connections provided to on-site NIFs continues to be limited by FCC rules as follows: support is not available for internal connections in non-instructional buildings of a school or school district or in separate administrative buildings of a library, unless those internal connections are essential for the effective transport of information to an instructional building of a school or to a non-administrative building of a library or the use of the services meets the definition of educational purpose.

Because NIFs do not have Category Two budgets, the eligible costs must be allocated to the budgets of the eligible schools and/or libraries sharing the services.

Entity Numbers

To be correctly entered in an FCC Form 471 funding request, a NIF must have an entity number.

An administrative office or wing in a school or library is considered part of that school or library, not a separate NIF, and does not need an entity number.

A NIF does not need a separate entity number if it serves only one eligible school or library and is located on the same campus as that school or library. An example of this type of facility is a separate cafeteria building on a high school campus that is only used by students from that high school. The applicant should use the entity number of the school or library on the funding request.

A NIF that serves multiple schools or libraries must have an entity number. An example of this type of facility is a separate cafeteria building on a high school campus that functions as a central kitchen for the entire school district.

A NIF that is not located on the same campus as a school or library must have an entity number. An example of this type of facility is a school stadium on school property but not on the campus of any school that hosts the sporting events for the entire school district.

Discount Calculations for NIFs

When eligible for support, school NIFs receive the same discount as the school district and library NIFs receive the same discount as the library system. NIFs with classrooms also receive the same district-wide discount. The discount for a NIF is derived from the school district or library system regardless of the physical location of the building. Note that NIFs are not counted in the district or system's urban/rural determination.