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E-rate Overview By TDS. Whats included in this E-rate overview: Quick summary Key steps in the process Timing Terms Contact information.

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Presentation on theme: "E-rate Overview By TDS. Whats included in this E-rate overview: Quick summary Key steps in the process Timing Terms Contact information."— Presentation transcript:

1 E-rate Overview By TDS

2 Whats included in this E-rate overview: Quick summary Key steps in the process Timing Terms Contact information

3 Quick Summary A government program Provides about $2.25 billion annually to schools and libraries Makes telecommunications and Internet access more affordable Focus is grades K-12 Program provides reimbursements of up to 90% of eligible products/services

4 Quick Summary - continued A funding year generally matches the school year – running from July 1 of one year through June 30 of the next year Key players –FCC (Federal Communications Commission) provides direction –USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company) administers the Universal Service Fund –SLD (Schools & Libraries Division) administers the E-rate program

5 Quick Summary - continued Categories for Funding –Telecommunications –Internet Access –Internal Connections –Basic Maintenance on Internal Connections Telecommunications and Internet Access are Priority 1 Services, meaning theyre funded first Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance on Internal Connections are Priority 2 Services, funded after Priority 1

6 Key Steps in the Process Develop a Technology Plan (what you want funded and how youll use it to improve education) Post a Form 470 on the Schools and Libraries Web site (Services Sought - opens bidding) Go through the bidding process, then sign a contract with a vendor (if contracted service) File Form 471 (Services Ordered)

7 Key Steps… - continued SLD sends a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) to you about how much theyll fund File a Form 486 (Services Have Begun) SLD sends a 486 letter listing the approved amount

8 Key Steps… - continued TDS will send you an asking if you prefer reimbursement by check or on your bill If you want a check, file a BEAR/Form 472 for service youve already received and paid for –SLD will send the reimbursement to TDS, and TDS will send a check to you If you want reimbursment applied to your bill, please provide information as we request it

9 Timing Form 470 (services sought) –Post between May and early January for the following school year (exact dates vary – refer to SLD Web site) Form 471 (services ordered) - During filing Window – typically from early November until early February Form 486 (services have begun) - Between July 1 of new funding year and deadline Form 472/BEAR – Its your choice how often you wish to file the form for reimbursement by check

10 Terms Funding Request Number – FRN –SLD assigns a number to each separate request for service, for each funding year –If you contact TDS to ask an E-rate question, its helpful to provide the FRN so we can quickly access information for you

11 Terms - continued SPIN – Service Provider Identification Number –A unique number assigned by SLD to each vendor participating in the E-rate program –If you need a SPIN, contact TDS E-rate Customer Care (see contact info at end of this presentation) SPIN Change – a process an applicant follows to change from one service provider to another during a funding year

12 Terms - continued Billed Entity Number (BEN) – a unique number USAC assigns to each school and library for the E-rate program Pre-discounted Amount – the estimated total cost of a product/service, before any E-rate reimbursements are applied Funding Commitment Decision Letter – notification from SLD about the amount of E-rate funding approved

13 Terms - continued Eligible Services –The SLD Web site includes a list of products and services that are eligible for E-rate funding –Eligibility may depend on configuration, or how the service is used –FCC rules determine whats eligible

14 Where to Go For Help – TDS Customer Care Phone (toll free) FAX (toll free) Web site

15 Where to Go For Help – Schools & Libraries Hotline (push 0 for a representative) Web site


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