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 nonprofit 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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Joint letter to the FCC regarding draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on competitive bidding regulations

December 6, 2021


SHLB joined the State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance (SECA), Funds For Learning, American Library Association (ALA), National School Board Association (NSBA), State Educational Technical Directors Association (SEDTA), and Consortium on School Networking (CoSN) on a joint letter urging the FCC to make revisions to a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would modify the competitive bidding process.


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Letter on ex parte meeting with FCC Commissioner Simington regarding E-rate funding for cybersecurity and other topics
November 4, 2021

On November 1, 2021, SHLB Chair Rachelle Chong and executive director John Windhausen met with FCC Commissioner Simington and his staff to discuss a range of issues, including providing E-rate support for cybersecurity.


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Comments on expanding the Eligible Services List
September 27, 2021

SHLB submitted comments to the FCC requesting that the FY2022 Eligible Services List be amended to include E-rate support for the expenses of Wi-Fi on school buses and cybersecurity.


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Joint letter to the FCC requesting an extension of the gift rules waiver
July 16, 2021

SHLB joined with the Consortium on School Networking (CoSN), State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance (SECA) and the American Library Association (ALA) to request that the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau extend its waiver of gift rules for the E-rate and Rural Health Care programs through June 30, 2022 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


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View Archived Documents →

E-rate Policy Group

Meetings on the 1st Thursday of the month at 2 ET


Roy Hoover
Hoover Technology Consulting

Beverly Sutherland