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The E-Rate program is federal funding to help schools and libraries in the United States receive affordable telecommunications and Internet access.

The Federal Communications Commission, an independent U.S. government agency, oversees the E-rate program. The program is authorized as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which states that everyone should have access to advanced telecommunication services at reasonable rates, regardless of location.

Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and urban / rural status of the population served.

E-Rate is funded through a universal service fee charged to companies providing interstate and / or international telecommunications services.

Who is Eligible for E-Rate?
•Schools and school districts
•Libraries and library systems
•Non-traditional facilities: Head Start, pre-kindergarten, adult education and juvenile justice programs
•Consortia (groups of eligible entities that band together to aggregate demand and negotiate lower prices)