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 USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company)

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of June 9, 2017


E-rate Funding Year 2017 Application Filing Window Closed May 11, 2017

Upcoming 2017 E-Rate Deadlines:


Form 486 deadline for FY 2016 funding committed in Wave 32. More generally, the Form 486 deadline is 120 days from the FCDL date or the service start date (often July 1st), whichever is later. This means that Form 486 deadlines for funding commitments received in later waves will follow at roughly one week intervals, including the following deadlines:

Wave 33           06/09/2017
Wave 34           06/16/2017
Wave 35           06/23/2017

Applicants missing these (or earlier) deadlines should watch carefully for “Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters” (actually emails directing the applicants to EPC News Feed items). The Reminders will afford applicants with 15-day extensions from the date of the emails to submit their Form 486s without penalty.

June 30

Last day to file for a Special Construction Deadline Extension Request and the last day to receive FY 2016 recurring services.


Representatives at the Client Service Bureau (CSB) are available to help you at 888-203-8100

Check out the webinar series that provide basic information about the program and the application process.

Starting in June and continuing through August, USAC will be offering a single webinar every month to provide program updates and guidance for all stakeholders – applicants, service providers, and consultants.

Each webinar will include updates on recent developments in the E-rate program and EPC, and focus on a single topic. Participants will also have an opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session at the end of each webinar. The webinars will be recorded, and you will be able to watch them on demand immediately after the live presentation by using the registration link. You can also view them in our Online Learning Library within a day or two after the webinar.

Below are the dates of the next three webinars and the topics covered:

Date and Time


Tuesday, June 20 at 3:00 PM EDT

FCC Form 486 – Purpose of form, how to file in EPC, Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Tuesday, July 18 at 3:00 PM EDT

FCC Form 470 for FY2018 – Purpose of form, how to file in EPC, competitive bidding

Tuesday, August 15 at 3:00 PM EDT

Beginners – Application process overview, introduction to EPC


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:

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.