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E-rate Fast Facts

A need for fast broadband

By the 2020-21 school year, districts should be targeting broadband speeds of 3.0 Gbps per 1,000 students.

(The State Educational Technology Directors Association)

Discounts for technology

E-rate Fast Facts

The FCC started E-rate to help schools and libraries deploy affordable broadband access. The program offers discounts of twenty to eighty-five percent on technology purchases, with the specific percentage based upon an individual district’s poverty level and rurality. Libraries are also eligible. Their discounts are based on building square footage. Since its creation, the E-rate program has helped 120,000 schools and libraries connect to the Internet.

E-rate Fast Facts

Funding types

E-rate funding is available in two categories:

  • Category One (C1): Data transmission and Internet services
  • Category Two (C2): Internal connection such as switches, routers, wireless, and basic firewalls.

Product eligibility

In general, the following categories of products are eligible for E-rate discounts:

  • Core networking
  • Wireless
  • Controllers
  • Router and Switches
  • Managed services for networks.

See the full list of eligible Cisco products here:

See More
E-rate Fast Facts

Product eligibility

In general, the following categories of products are eligible for E -rate discounts:

  • Core networking
  • Wireless
  • Controllers
  • Router and Switches
  • Managed services for networks

See the full list of eligible Cisco products here:

See More

Getting started

To start the process, file a Form 470 (RFP) and allow at least 28 days for vendors to submit bids. After you select the winning partner, file Form 471 during the E-rate filing window to request funds. You can find complete filing information on this website.

Tips: First decide what technology solutions you need in order to reach your goals and then determine what is E-rate eligible.

You can explore additional funding opportunities to help cover the remainder.

Learn more about E-rate and Cisco solutions at


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