Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Illinois State Library
E-rate is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Funding is requested under four categories of service: telecommunications services, Internet access, internal connections, and basic maintenance of internal connections. It is one of four support programs funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services.
- Libraries must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. Chapter 72, Subchapter II).
- Libraries must have budgets completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities).
- Libraries cannot operate as for-profit businesses.
- File Form 470 and Conduct an Open Bidding Process
- Select the Most Cost-Effective Service Provider
- Calculate the Discount Level
- Submit Application for Support (Form 471)
- Schools and Libraries Division Reviews the Application
- Confirm Receipt of Services (Form 486)
- Invoice for Discounts (Form 472 or Form 474)
Applicants use the discount matrix below to determine the correct discount level for an individual school or library outlet.
Schools and Libraries
Schools and Libraries
|The discount level is measured by % of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).||Discount Level:||Discount Level:|
|Urban Discount||Rural Discount||Urban Discount||Rural Discount|
|Less than 1%||20%||25%||20%||25%|
|1% to 19%||40%||50%||40%||50%|
|20% to 34%||50%||60%||50%||60%|
|35% to 49%||60%||70%||60%||70%|
|50% to 74%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|75% to 100%||90%||90%||85%||85%|
- E-rate (USAC Schools and Libraries Program)
- E-rate Central
- E-rate Forms
- E-rate Modernization Order
- E-rate Productivity Center (EPC)
- E-rate / Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Requirements
- USAC Schools and Libraries: News Briefs
Additional Resources for Illinois Schools and Libraries
- E-rate Information from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
- Illinois Counties Classified Rural for E-rate Purposes
- Illinois Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility Data Eligibility data provided by ISBE. Contact your school district for the most recent data.
- Illinois School District NSLP Eligibility Percentage Based on discount matrix and Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility Data.
Illinois Procurement Bulletin: Master Contracts
Schools and libraries may use the Statewide Master Contracts listed below to purchase items for E-Rate Category 2, or use the information provided in them as a reference when completing Form FCC 470. To begin the process of seeking funding for eligible services under the E-rate program, applicants must initiate the required competitive bidding process by filing FCC Form 470 online with USAC.
Please note that the Cisco Equipment and Services Master Contract (CMS8293460) is only valid for customers of the Illinois Century Network (ICN). The Statewide Telecom Network Voice and Data Services Master Contract ( CMC131864A) may be used by all eligible applicants. However, since it lists several equipment vendors, an applicant would need to perform a mini-bid to select equipment.
- Master Contract: Cisco Equipment and Services Contract Number: CMS8293460
- Master Contract: Statewide Telecom Network Voice and Data Services Contract Number: CMC131864A
- E-rate: What’s New for 2016? Recorded October 29, 2015. Click View Archive. Note: You will be prompted to login to WebJunction Course Catalog.
- Navigating the USAC Website Recorded January 29, 2015.
If you have any questions about E-rate, please contact your library system E-rate consultant or call the State Library at 217-524-6411.