E-Rate Funding

The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund commonly known as "E-rate," provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access services. The four service categories that are funded are Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. E-rate supports connectivity which is the conduit or pipeline for communications using telecommunications services and/or the Internet. Additional resources including end-user equipment (computers, telephones, and the like), software, professional development, and the other elements necessary to utilize the connectivity funded by the Schools and Libraries Program must be provided by the school or library or systems thereof. The discounts are based upon the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and discounts can range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school systems, and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.

The Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) has participated in the E-rate program as the consortium lead and billed entity of the AREN consortium since January 1, 1998. ASA has in each succeeding E-rate year continually assisted more Alabama schools/school systems and libraries/library systems in applying for and receiving E-rate discounts for Internet services through the AREN consortium. Through the AREN consortium, eligible schools/school systems and libraries/library systems are included as a group, and ASA is considered the consortium lead and billed entity and will make certifications on behalf of the member schools/school systems and libraries/library systems. ASA collects a Letter of Agency (LOA) annually from all members of the AREN consortium which verifies their knowledge of their membership and participation in the consortium. The AREN consortium currently consists of 136 school systems, 15 individual libraries and 3 library systems which are all located throughout the State of Alabama.

The ASA staff will be happy to provide a quote for AREN Internet access services above the base level service already provided. Please contact Donna Daniel, Director of Client Services, for a quote.

Check your E-Rate funding status:

E-Rate Funding Wave Announcements

The SLD News Brief:

The SLD News Brief can be viewed by date or topic. It is published weekly on Friday, and occasionally, there are special editions. You can subscribe to the SLD News Brief and receive it by email.

AREN Clients that will benefit from E-Rate 2014-2015 funding through the ASA/AREN Consortium: