The COVID-19 pandemic made the importance of accessible classroom technology clearer than ever. Students rely on devices such as tablets to learn more about lesson topics and build problem-solving skills. However, technology can create severe budgetary strain for your school district. How do you provide your students with new or upgraded technology without breaking your budget?
In 1997 the U.S. government created the E-Rate program to give students across the nation access to the internet and digital content. This program allows schools and libraries to apply for funding that helps provide internet access along with telecommunications services, internal connections and even basic maintenance.
While this program is extremely competitive, it has awarded over $1.9 billion to schools and libraries since its start in 1997.
Insight Public Sector has been an active participant in the E-Rate program since its inception, and our relationship with the program supports our mission to help educational institutions modernize and grow their infrastructure. Along with our deep partner relationships, this gives us the versatility to tailor our services for each client’s unique needs.
The E-Rate application process can feel daunting, but below are basic steps and helpful links to simplify the process. The first step is to determine if your school is eligible for the E-Rate program. To do this, visit the USAC website and read the eligibility rules.
If you are eligible, make sure you know your timeline and deadlines. The funding year begins in July of each year and ends the following June. The application window generally opens five to six months before the start of the funding year, but exact dates are posted on the USAC website.
To submit your application, you’ll need to fill out and file the following forms:
When applying for funding, the most important task is to plan ahead. Implementing a networking technology strategy can take years, but starting your funding application early can ease your stress.
In addition, the USAC website provides all the informational resources you’ll need throughout the process. Not only does it provide answers to many commonly asked questions, but it also allows you to reach out to representatives who can help you fill out your application.
Finally, having the right technology partner can boost your chances of E-Rate success. Working with a systems integrator like Insight gives you access to broad range of qualifying devices, as well as knowledge, expertise and services that can help you secure funding and deploy and manage your technology.