E-rate, or Education Rate, is a federal program designed to ensure schools and libraries have access to affordable high-speed broadband to support digital learning and robust connectivity. E-rate funds provide discounted Internet access and subsidize the cost of eligible network equipment, and most recipients must certify compliance with the
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to receive funding. Enacted by Congress under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, E-rate is one of four programs administered by the non-profit Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and supervised by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Discounts for Kentucky libraries range from 50% to 90%, with the average library receiving a discount of 80% on their bills. Discounts are calculated based on two factors: the percentage of students in the local school district eligible for the National School Lunch Program, and the urban or rural classification of the county served by the library. Kentucky libraries have received more than $21 million in E-rate disbursements since the program began in 1998. More information about the program can be found on the
- The application filing window for the $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund is scheduled to open in June 2021. USAC, the program administrator, has created a separate Emergency Connectivity Fund Program website.