E-Rate: Universal Service Discount Program for Libraries

E-rate is a federally created program to provide discounts to assist most schools and libraries with obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access. It was enacted by Congress under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Universal Service Administration as the mechanism for administering the program. Services eligible for E-rate discounts include telephone service, data circuit connections, Internet access and internal connections. Discounts, ranging from 20% to 90%, are based on an individual school's enrollment participation for the National School Lunch program. The discount percentage for a library is based on the weighted discount percentage for the school district in which the library is located.

Latest E-Rate News from the USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company)


FY2017 FCC Form 470

The FCC Form 470 for FY2017 became available in EPC on July 1, 2016. If you are ready to open a competitive bidding process for FY2017, you can still file and certify an FCC Form 470 now.  Please click on the link above to get you started...

E-rate Funding Year 2017 Application Filing Window Opens February 27, 2017

USAC is pleased to announce the application filing window for Funding Year (FY) 2017 will open on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 12:00 noon EST and close on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT.

**Do not file an FCC Form 471 before the FY2017 filing window opens – you will not be filing an in-window FY2017 form, but rather an out-of-window FY2016 form that will not apply to FY2017.**

  • Log-in or create your account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and then review, update or assign user rights for anyone who will need access for FY2017. Please note, Google Chrome is the preferred browser for EPC. No matter what browser you use, be sure the latest version is installed on your computer.  

Review your profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address and entities. Your profile is now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again on February 26, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

  • Libraries should confirm their square footage, main branch, and public school district of the main branch information is correct and that any bookmobiles or kiosks are included.
  • If you have not started the competitive bidding process please begin now. There is no need to wait for the window to open. The USAC website provides step-by-step instructions.  

As always, representatives at the Client Service Bureau (CSB) are available to help you at 888-203-8100 or simply open a customer service case in EPC.

For a free webinar on filling out your Form 471, OR are still considering filing for this year (still some time left), check out the webinar series that provide basic information about the program and the application process…


See the Eligible Services List for details on products and services that are eligible for E-rate discounts in FY2017. 

You can find additional program guidance documents in the Reference Area of the USAC website.


Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) Website for Official E-Rate Guidance:

Other Informational Resources for E-Rate:

E-Rate Central

Ten Rules for E-Rate Success

Free and Reduced Price Lunch Data

Technology Plans and the E-Rate Program: A Primer for Libraries

**Effective for FY2011, beginning July 1, 2011, applicants applying only for Telecommunications and Internet Access services, Category 1, are no longer required to have technology plans.  For FY2015, technology plans for Category 2 are not required, but are recommended.

The Children's Internet Protection Act and information about Filtering:


The ARIZONA State Library has excellent E-Rate documentation at:



For more information or questions on E-Rate, contact:
Patricia Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.