2021 E-rate filing window announced, more than $4 billion available to support, improve school and library connectivity
Connect K-12 site offers free and transparent pricing, bandwidth data for school district and state leaders looking to maximize E-rate funding
Washington, DC. (January 6, 2021) – Soon, school districts across the country can once again apply for federal E-rate funding to support and improve internet connectivity and classroom Wi-Fi. The Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), which administers the program under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has announced the Funding Year 2021 filing window for Form 471 applications will open at Noon ET on Friday, January 15 and will remain open until 11:59pm ET on Thursday, March 25.
“The E-rate Program is incredibly important, not only to keep schools and libraries connected at a basic level, but to obtain the bandwidth necessary enable immersive digital learning opportunities, which improve the quality of instruction and engage students in more meaningful ways,” said Brent Legg, Connected Nation’s Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. “Yet many school districts across the country are not maximizing the program to drive competition, reduce prices, and increase speeds. That is why we, along with Funds For Learning, created ConnectK12.org to help school districts compare pricing and bandwidth data so that they are empowered to negotiate better deals for service.”
Connect K-12 is the nation’s only free, easy-to-use resource for internet speed and pricing data for the nation’s schools. The site, which launched in November 2020, provides detailed information at the local, state, and national levels to help state and school district leaders track their progress toward meeting the FCC’s 1 Mbps per student bandwidth goal. It will be updated annually after the close of each year’s E-rate funding cycle.
“Time is of essence right now. We want to make sure state and school district leaders are equipped with the intelligence necessary to help them obtain better access for their students and teachers,” said Emily Jordan, CN’s Vice President, Connect K-12, Connected Nation. “Connect K-12 aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes E-rate data so that leaders can stretch E-rate dollars further. But the first step is accessing the site.”
It takes less than 30 seconds to search and find key information by district or state and then compare it to others. Simply go to https://connectk12.org/, type a district or state name, and internet pricing and speed information will populate in an easy-to-understand and downloadable format.
To learn more about the E-rate program head to the USAC website at https://www.usac.org/e-rate/.
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About Connected Nation: Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information please visit connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
About Funds For Learning: Funds For Learning® is a professional firm specializing in the federal E-rate funding program. Its mission is to provide high-quality consulting and support services for the needs of E-rate program participants, including preparing and submitting paperwork, and helping clients to understand and maintain compliance with E-rate rules and regulations. Proudly serving schools and libraries since 1997. For more information please visit https://www.fundsforlearning.com/.