THE E-RATE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR FY 2016 IS UNDERWAY!
As part of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative to provide 99 percent of American students with access to next-generation broadband by 2018, the E-rate program has played an important role in supplying Wi-Fi and high-speed connectivity at affordable rates to schools in Indian Country. Through this program, BIE-funded schools are provided with the opportunity to build up the broadband capacity and economic development of their communities, while significantly contributing to the educational advancement of their Native youth.
BIE and the E-rate Program
Investing in and keeping pace with changing technology allows BIE-funded schools to take full advantage of new learning resources, and are essential to leveling the playing field for Native American communities. By exposing Native students to global opportunities, empowering them with more personalized learning, and equipping them with tools to help them succeed, our schools can better prepare Native students for their future in the digital age.
This funding year, the E-rate program is expected to award a total of almost $4 billion to schools nationwide. The deadline to apply is approaching fast, so begin the process today to take advantage of the E-rate program and the funding available for your school!
The New Application Process for 2016: The E-rate Productivity Center, (EPC) portal
Through the release of their new E-rate Productivity Center, (EPC) portal, USAC has created a one stop location for the submission of all future E-rate Forms. All schools and libraries must obtain an EPC account and utilize the portal for the submission of all E-rate Forms this year. The process to obtain an account can take a week or more to complete, so schools are encouraged to contact the USAC Helpdesk at 1-888-203-8100 as soon as possible to set up their accounts. Information and training on the Portal is available here. Information on the New Form 470 procedure is available here: FCC Form 470 User Guide.
Important dates and deadlines
• ASAP – Create an E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Portal account (call 888-203-8100)
• February 3, 2016 – Funding Application Window Opens
• March 31, 2016 – Last day to submit Form 470
• April 29, 2016 – All Form 471 is due
• July 1, 2016 – New E-rate funding cycle begins
Have questions or need assistance?
BIE has appointed an E-rate Team to provide technical assistance to increase the competitiveness of E-rate applications from BIE-funded schools. If you need help with your application, please use the contact information below:
For general and detailed E-rate assistance, please contact the BIE E-rate Team.
o Team E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Team Leader Margueritta "Margo" Ragan: (703) 390 - 6557
o Hadrian Hernandez: (703) 390-6610
o Team Fax: 866-800-7890
For questions regarding the EPC Portal and setting up a portal account, please contact the Universal Service Administrative Corporation (USAC).
o Phone: 888-203-8100
o Fax: 888-276-8736
o Submit a Question feature on the USAC website
o Information and training on the EPC Portal