E-rate and the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) are programs that provide discounts on telecommunication costs to eligible schools. Although there are differences in eligible services and discount rates, it is possible for schools to receive significant discounts on telecommunications costs by using both E-rate and CTF discounts together.
- E-rate Reference Material
- Join the E-rate e-mail list to receive updates about E-rate and the CTF programs.
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E-rate is a federal program of the Federal Communications Commission administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company that provides eligible kindergarten through grade twelve public schools and libraries 20 percent to 90 percent discounts on approved telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections costs. E-rate discounts are based on the number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Schools and libraries in low-income urban communities and rural areas qualify for higher discounts. Although the E-rate application process can be difficult, every school district should consider applying for E-rate discounts. Information about E-rate training is located at K-12 High Speed Network.
California Teleconnect Fund
While the E-rate program includes discounts for a wider range of telecommunications services, CTF offers discounts for measured business service as well as high bandwidth data lines. Although offering a smaller menu of eligible services, the CTF application process is simpler than E-rate. Applications for CTF discounts are submitted to the telecommunications carrier, who will submit the completed eligible application to the California Public Utilities Commission Telecommunication Division. When CTF discounts are approved, the telecommunications carrier will discount the telecommunications to the school.
E-rate requires approved technology plans as a prerequisite for receiving Internet access or internal connections discounts. The Technology Planning Guide gives the four approval criteria for technology plans and the process for the submittal and review of an E-rate technology plan.
Note that an approved E-rate technology plan is acceptable for the E-rate program and the Education Technology K-12 Voucher program only. It is not acceptable for any other state-administered technology program. An approved comprehensive education technology plan is acceptable for E-rate application purposes. If you are interested in submitting a comprehensive education technology plan, please contact your California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) representative.
Technology Plan Status
To check to see if a county, district, or direct-funded charter
school is currently certified and meets this requirement, select
one of the following:
View Technology Plans by County
If you believe the information is not accurate or need information about past E-rate technology plans for audit purposes, please contact the Education Technology Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-323-5715.