The E-rate program, formally called The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, helps eligible U.S. schools to obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. This year the need for such access is greater than ever, with the spike in remote learning due to Covid-19. But the requirements and paperwork may be daunting for overworked school administrators. Funds For Learning provides consulting services to guide school administrators in every aspect of e-rate compliance.
In an effort to understand how E-rate funding can best serve modern needs of applicants and deliver feedback to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Funds For Learning has opened its 10th annual survey of E-rate applicants. The survey arrives as Congress assesses the need for additional funds to support remote learning.
E-rate applicants are invited to submit anonymous responses from now until July 3, 2020. Survey response data inform key policymakers and administrative members in maintaining the value of the E-rate program, and adapting funding to meet stakeholder needs.
“Keeping individuals connected to the internet has never been more important, as recent events have so poignantly demonstrated,” said John Harrington, CEO at Funds For Learning. “It’s essential that leaders and decision makers in Washington D.C. hear from applicants, and our survey is an opportunity to submit feedback easily and confidentially.”
Over the course of the survey’s 10-year history, the E-rate program has seen an increase in demand and efficiency. This year, the first wave of funding committed following the close of the 2020 filing window was the highest amount ever awarded to applicants.
Survey results will be shared in the E-rate Trends Report, which is submitted into the official docket for review by FCC staff, circulated to Congress and the media, and shared with the general public.
Participation in last year’s survey and report was a record high, with 1,763 applicants from every state and territory completing the survey, representing about eight percent of all school and library E-rate applicants nationwide.
The 2020 E-rate Applicant Survey can be found here.