Frequently Asked Questions



1. Where can I get more information on the E-Rate program?

The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as “E-Rate,” is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For more information on E-Rate, visit the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) web site @ http://www.universalservice.org/sl/

2. Have there been updates to the E-Rate program?

Yes. FCC updates and program changes are published on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) web site under “Latest News from the Schools & Libraries Program @ http://www.universalservice.org/sl/

3. What are the definitions of the Acronyms and Terms used in the E-Rate program?

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) provides an on-line reference to define E-Rate terms and acronyms on their website at http://www.universalservice.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/handouts/SL-Glossary-of-Terms.pdf

4. Is the E-Rate program subject to audits?

Yes. Please understand your obligations to remain in compliance with the E-Rate program by reading and understanding the guidance provided by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) @ http://www.universalservice.org/sl/about/program-integrity/audits.aspx

5. What services do hosted telephone vendors offer that qualify for E-Rate ?

E-Rate funding is available for four categories of Service:

  • Telecommunications Services
  • Internet Access
  • Internal Connections
  • Basic Maintenance for Internal Connections

Disclosure: Any FCC Registered Interconnected VoIP Provider can discuss their products and services prior to the posting of your Form 470, which begins the competitive bidding process. Once the Form 470 is filed the vendors are restricted to the role of bidder.

6. What is a SPIN and why is it important?

SPIN stands for Service Provider Identification Number. Many of the hosted PBX vendors can offer E-Rate eligible services in the categories of Telecommunications, Internet Access, and Internal Connections as well as the Basic Maintenance of those Internal Connections. It is important that you use the appropriate SPIN associated with the products offered. You can easily find the SPIN for a vendor at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/Forms/SPIN_Contact_Search.asp

7 . Once I am awarded funding from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) for an AT&T SPIN, what should I expect?

Upon receipt of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD), qualified vendors will send instructions you will need to be identified on your Form 471 application(s) for each Funding Request.

8. What are the E-Rate disbursement methods?

E-Rate disbursements methods are Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) – Form 472 or Service Provider Invoice (SPI) – Form 474.

9. Can private schools benefit from the E-Rate Program?

Yes, Private schools E-Rate funding Private schools, just like any other school, has access to these funds. You just have to fill out an e-rate application.

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