E-Rate funding. Technology discounts for schools and libraries

E-Rate provides discounts to schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. While complex to secure, working with a trusted E-Rate partner can garner up to 95% discounts.

All of us have faced the consequences of the struggling economy. For non-profit organizations, the recession can be doubly difficult, as donations decrease and more people are in need of their services. One solution to some of these difficulties is e-Rate, a government-funded discount program for technology, aimed at schools and libraries.

E-Rate funding options

E-Rate funding covers a wide variety of IT and telecom services, including projects and some ongoing maintenance work. These services include wired and wireless network infrastructure, internet access, e-mail hosting, web hosting, servers, operating systems, software associated with e-mail and web hosting, data protection, interfaces, gateways, antennas, some storage devices, and and system improvements and upgrades.

The E-Rate process

Receiving the funding for these services through e-Rate is a complex process, but the rewards can include up to 95% discounts on some services. E-Rate determines funding of services based on whether they are critical to the organization's operations, and also based on the number of students or patrons served that qualify for the free-lunch program. These requirements make e-Rate an ideal solution for schools and libraries in low-income neighborhoods.

Finding an E-Rate Partner

In order to maximize e-Rate funding, it is critical to work with a trusted e-Rate consultant, and to wisely select an IT provider through an e-Rate bidding process. E-Rate regulations require great care and attention, and choosing a provider that is able to assist in that regard is important. Funding may rest on the IT service provider's attention to detail in documenting required software and hardware, including exact prices and product numbers.

AIE knows E-Rate

AIE is privileged to serve many non-profit clients, and provides many services that can be funded through e-Rate. For more information about e-Rate and other government funding opportunities for non-profits, call the AIE office at 630-936-4045, or visit