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Library Outreach/ LSTA | School Library Statistics: FAQ

E-rate: FAQ



What is E-rate?
E-rate subsidizes certain technology services and equipment in schools and libraries. E-rate is funded through a universal service fee charged to companies that provide telecommunications services. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers E-rate under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
E-rate discounts range from 20-90 percent of the costs of eligible services, based on the percentage of the local school district population eligible for the National School Lunch Program.


Why should I apply?
Libraries are important providers of Internet access to communities. E-rate can help your library obtain affordable Internet access and telecommunications services. Most SD public libraries are eligible to apply for E-rate.


What services are covered by E-rate?
- Services to buildings - phone, internet access, and data transmission services
- Services & equipment inside buildings - Wi-Fi, building infrastructure and networking equipment (access points, antennas, cabling, firewalls, network switches, routers, UPSs, etc.)
- Eligible Services List web link to universal service dot org


When can I apply?
Start now by talking to your library board and IT people. What does the library need? Reduced rates on Internet, increased broadband capacity, better Wi-Fi? The E-rate application begins with a competitive bidding request so you'll have to be able to itemize the products and services you want. The application process opens a year before the discounts begin. That means you should be ready to begin your library's application by this summer/fall for discounts in the 2017 funding year (beginning July 1, 2017).


How do I learn more?
Visit the official E-rate website web link to e rate web site for application and supporting resources.
Erate training webinars are available at doe.sd.gov web link to d o e dot s d dot o r g.
South Dakota has an E-rate coordinator who provides outreach and training to SD libraries and schools. Contact the E-rate coordinator to subscribe to SD E-rate listserv messages about training opportunities, filing advice, and deadlines.
Debra M. Kriete, Esq.
South Dakota E-rate Coordinator
email / (888) 232-0241 (toll free)


Library Questions?
Shawn Behrends, Data Coordinator, South Dakota State Library
email / (605) 280-5834 (direct) / (605) 773-3131




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Library Services and Technology Act South Dakota State Library Five Year Plan: 2013-2017
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Shawn Behrends EMAIL
State Data Coordinator
605-280-5834
605-773-3131, Option 6

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