Congress authorized the E-rate program as part of the 1996 Telecommunication Act. The FCC created the program to increase access to advanced telecommunications and information services for schools and libraries. Eligible participants include public and most non-profit K-12 schools as well as all public and many private libraries. All program participants must carry out a competitive bidding process to select the most cost-effective companies to provide the goods and/or services requested. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.

The SHLB Coalition has consistently supported reforms to the E-rate program that shift the focus to high-capacity broadband connections. Several studies document that schools and libraries do not have the affordable, high-capacity broadband connections they need to ensure that students develop technological skills and library patrons can obtain access to essential Internet-based services. We support greater funding for the E-rate program, an increased focus on capital investment, emphasis on affordable rates, increased use of consortia, and giving schools and libraries more options for their broadband services.

November 8, 2017 Organization Support Letter to FCC for High-Speed Broadband and WiFi through E-rate Category Two Services
October 23, 2017 SHLB E-rate Category II Comments to FCC
January 27, 2017 FCC E-rate Progress Report (retracted Feb. 3)
November 3, 2016 SHLB, NDIA, GLN, Kellogg & Sovereign, and Mobile Beacon
Comments on Petitions Regarding Off-Campus Use of E-rate Supported Connectivity
October 3, 2016 E-rate Success Stories Provided by SHLB Members
July 15, 2015 SHLB Eligible Services List Ex Parte Filing  
November 3, 2014 SHLB Reply Comments on Redefinition of Rural
October 17, 2014

SHLB CTC Cost Study Cover Letter

A Model for Understanding the Costs to Connect Schools and Libraries with Fiber Optics

September 15, 2014 SHLB E-rate Comments
July 11, 2014

SHLB on FCC's Progress on E-rate and Rural BB Experiments

April 7, 2014 SHLB E-rate Comments
January 25, 2014 SHLB Ex Parte Meeting with Michael Steffen and Patrick Halley
December 5, 2013 SHLB Ex Parte Meeting with Wireline Competition Bureau
November 8, 2013 SHLB E-rate Reply Comments
September 16, 2013 SHLB E-rate Reform Initial Comments


SHLB Documents on E-rate Reform 2010-2011

September 24, 2010 SHLB Ex Parte Phone Calls with FCC Staff
September 16, 2010 SHLB Ex Parte Meeting with FCC General Counsel
September 10, 2010 SHLB Ex Parte Phone Call with Carol Mattey
September 10, 2010 SHLB Ex Parte Meeting with Angela Kronenberg
September 9, 2010 SHLB E-rate Comments
August 27, 2010 SHLB Ex Parte Meeting with with Wireline Competition Bureau