E-rate Overview in South Dakota
This web site page publishes E-rate information that is specific for South Dakota applicants.
E-rate is the Universal Service Support Mechanism for Schools and Libraries, a national program overseen by the Federal Communications Commission. E-rate disburses funds for high speed broadband and Internet access services and equipment to schools and libraries. The E-rate program consists of a multi-step application process based on competitive bidding to set the prices of eligible services and equipment. Competitive bidding is used to achieve the most cost-effective prices for services and equipment. The funding amount is based on a discount percentage of the cost of eligible services and equipment. Discounts range from 20% to 90%. Each school or district’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) percentage is used as a benchmark of economic need and is indexed to an E-rate discount matrix. Libraries qualify for the E-rate discount percentage of the school district in which their building is located.
Funding applications are processed by the fund administrator, the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company, under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission. The funds are made available through assessments on all interstate telecommunications revenues and are collected and paid into the fund by telecommunications companies.
The program operates on an annual application cycle from July 1 through June 30 of each year. More information about E-rate is available at the official website of the fund administrator, https://www.usac.org/e-rate/.
South Dakota has a state E-rate coordinator who is available to assist schools and libraries in the state:
717 232 0222
We also operate a state E-rate listserv to provide program updates and action item reminders. Sign up here: https://www.k12.sd.us/mailinglist/SD_E-Rate
These documents are the electronic contents of the annual E-rate Resource Manuals that are distributed to the attendees of the annual in-person training workshops. They offer step-by-step guidance on the E-rate application process and regulatory requirements.Each chapter of the Manual is available for downloading:
Detailed Index of each Chapter
- Training PowerPoint
- E-rate Overview and Schedule
- Eligible Entities
- C1 Eligible Services & Equipment
- C2 Eligible Services & Equipment
- EPC Portal
- Bidding Rules
- Form 470
- Vendor Selection
- Discount Calculations
- Form 471
- Form 471 Pre-Funding Review
- Funding Notifications (FCDLs)
- Form 486
- C2 Post-FCDL Guidance
- Receiving E-rate Funds
- Post-FCDL Changes
- Document Retention & Audits
|Form 470 Training||View Webinar||PowerPoint Slides|
|471 Category 1 Training||View Webinar||PowerPoint Slides|
|471 Category 2 Training||View Webinar||PowerPoint Slides|
|Form 471 – Demostration||View Webinar|
|Library Webinar||View Webinar||PowerPoint Slides|
|CIPA Requirements||View Webinar||PowerPoint Slides|
E-rate discounts for schools and districts are based on the percentage of NSLP students. Library discounts are based on the discount of the school district in which the library is physically located. Each year the E-rate administrator requests the State to submit the enrollment and NSLP data that was reported each October and reviewed by the State. This information is not published online due to privacy restrictions.
Schools that do not participate in NSLP or for which NSLP percentages are not available have three options when completing their E-rate documentation:
- Consult verifiable documentation of the student’s family income and determine whether the family meets the NSLP income eligibility guidelines
- Conduct an income survey of the student population to collect the financial information necessary to determine whether the family meets the NSLP income eligibility guidelines. A sample income survey, cover letter and USAC official guidance are available here:
- Report the student enrollment number and 0 NSLP students.
Technology planning may be a beneficial process to schools and libraries to undergo periodically. The plan may be used to identify the equipment and services schools and libraries that wish to purchase and to map out a schedule.
While E-rate no longer mandates that a technology plan be created and submitted for approval, the Department of Education encourages schools and libraries to voluntarily engage in this planning process at regular intervals.
The South Dakota State Administrator is Michelle Kronberg, Michelle.Kronberg@state.sd.us or 605-773-2910.