SHLB E-rate

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.

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SHLB/SECA Joint Comments to the FCC on Forms 470 and 471
July 23, 2018

These comments describe recommendations from members of the SHLB Coalition and the State E-Rate Coordinators Alliance (SECA) to improve FCC Forms 470 and 471.



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SHLB Ex-Parte Letter to FCC on Drop-down Menu Difficulties
April 9, 2018

This letter concerns the problematic and inconsistent guidance concerning the drop-down menu and the FY 2018 approach for requesting competitive bids for various Internet access service options.


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SHLB Ex-Parte Letter to FCC on E-rate Fiber Experiences and Difficulties
January 26, 2018 

This letter discusses SHLB Members' experience with the processing of fiber special construction requests and offers seven specific recommendations to improve the processing of these complex applications.


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Organization Support Letter to FCC for High-Speed Broadband and WiFi through E-rate Category Two Services
November 8, 2017
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SHLB E-rate Category II Comments to FCC
October 23, 2017 
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FCC E-rate Progress Report (retracted Feb. 3)
January 27, 2017

View SHLB E-rate Documents 2010-2016 →



SHLB E-rate Blogs

E-rate and the Homework Gap   E-rate Blog