Welcome to the E-rate Program! This program provides discounts for Wi-Fi, high-speed broadband, and telecommunications services for schools and libraries throughout the country. There are four steps to receive funding:
View the application process flowchart to keep track of where you are in the process.
We're here to help! If you need assistance at any step of the process, please feel free to contact us.
Service providers should see our section on E-rate for Service Providers.
Log in to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) to access your forms and messages.
New users should call us at (888) 203-8100
to set up an account in EPC.
The first step in applying for funding is to request bids from service providers on the services you need. You request bids by submitting the FCC Form 470. The form must be posted for a minimum of 28 days. This is called a competitive bidding period. If you also have a Request for Proposal (RFP), upload it as part of the form. In response to your posted request, service providers competing to provide the services you've requested will send you pricing bids. At the end of the competitive bidding period, you should evaluate your bids and choose a service provider. See our Form 470 Resources below for competitive bidding requirements, filing exemptions, and guidelines on evaluating your bids.
After you have selected a service provider through the competitive bidding process, you can submit your actual application to receive funding. This application is called the FCC Form 471 and must be submitted during a filing window each year. In general, the application filing window opens about six months before the start of the funding year and is open for about two and a half months. See the Form 471 Resources below for information about calculating your discount, Category Two budgets, and other filing information.
Once you've received your Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) and delivery of your services has started, you can submit FCC Form 486 which confirms that your services have started and allows you to certify to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). For FY16, file the Form 486 in EPC. Use the dropdown menu below to file the form for FY2015 and previous years.
Select one of the following invoicing methods:
With the Service Provider Invoice (or SPI) method, you should contact your service provider and request to be enrolled in discounted invoicing. Your service provider will provide your E-rate discount on your monthly invoice.
You should file the Form 472 if you have paid your service provider in full for your services and want to be reimbursed for the discount amount. USAC now pays schools and libraries directly for the BEAR Method. But you must first file Form 498 to register your banking information with us.
File Form 500 if you need to adjust your funding commitments and/or modify the dates for receipt of services at anytime.
Service providers file the Form 474 to request payment for eligible services provided at discounted prices. We will review the SPI Form and process a payment to you if payment is approved. Your customer is always required to pay the non-discount portion of the cost of the services.
If your customer paid you in full for their services, they should file the Form 472. Customers can now receive direct payment via electronic transfer. They must first register their banking information with USAC by filing a Form 498.
The Schools and Libraries team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us with your questions or to set up a new user account.