Erate Services
Helping clients get the funding they need – Helping students achieve their potential!

Frequently Asked Questions

We try to anticipate questions you might have about E-rate and the services we provide. If you need additional information, please be sure to send a separate email to



What is USAC?

USAC is the independent not-for-profit corporation created by the FCC in 1997 to administer the four universal service support mechanisms (programs) which help provide communities across the country with access to affordable telecommunications services. 


Are you affiliated with USAC?

No, we are not affiliated with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), Program Integrity Assurance (PIA), any particular school, or individual service provider.  We are independent consultants.  


What are Category1 Services?

Telecommunication services, Internet access, and telecommunications are known collectively as Priority1 -- since they are considered primary and are funded first.  Maximum discount:  90%


What are Category2 Services?

Internal connections and basic maintenance of internal connections are collectively known as Priority2 -- since they are funded after Priority1 services beginning with the applicants at the highest discount levels.  Maximum discount:  85% 



How does E-rate Work?

Please download the E-RATE APPLICATION PROCESS document from our PUBLICATIONS tab for an overview of how E-rate works.


Is E-rate funding guaranteed for those who apply?

No, actual funding is approved at the sole discretion of USAC, and is based on multiple factors included in the application process.


What is a Funding Year (FY)?

The funding year begins July1, and ends on June30 of the following year.  For example, FY2020 began on July 1, 2020 and will end on June 30, 2021. 


What is my E-rate discount going to be?

The discount on E-rate eligible services for an entity or group of entities ranges from a low of 20 percent to a high of 90 percent (85 percent for Category2) and is based on a measure of poverty and urban/rural status.  This discount is subject to change each FY. 


What is the NSLP?

The National Student Lunch Program is the program that provides school lunches to eligible students at a free or reduced rate.



What is PIA?

Program Integrity Assurance is the compliance review process completed before funding commitments are made by USAC.



What is FCC Form472?

The Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form is filed by the applicant after paying for services in FULL to request reimbursement for the discount on those services.