E-rate Category Two ServicesThe second category of equipment and services eligible for E-rate support, Category Two, includes the internal connections needed for broadband connectivity within schools.
The information below was taken from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order DA 16-1023 (PDF), which announced the eligible services list (ESL) for funding year (FY) 2017.
Data Transmission Services and Internet Access
The second category of equipment and services eligible for E-rate support, Category Two, includes the internal connections needed for broadband connectivity within schools. Support is limited to the internal connections necessary to bring broadband into, and provide it throughout, schools and libraries. These are broadband connections used for educational purposes within, between, or among instructional buildings that comprise a school campus and basic maintenance of these connections, as well as services that manage and operate owned or leased broadband internal connections (e.g., managed internal broadband services or managed Wi-Fi). Category Two support is subject to per-school budgets as set forth in the E-rate Modernization Order (PDF) and Second E-rate Modernization Order (PDF).
The eligible components and services in Category Two are:
- Access points used in a local area network (LAN) or wireless local area network (WLAN) environment (such as wireless access points)
- Antennas, Cabling, Connectors (related components used for internal broadband connections)
- Caching (See note 3)
- Firewall Services (components separate from basic firewall protection provided as a standard component of a vendor’s Internet access service)
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)/Battery Backup
- Wireless Controller Systems
- Software supporting the components on this list used to distribute high-speed broadband throughout school buildings and libraries
(1) Functionalities listed above that can be virtualized in the cloud, and equipment that combines eligible functionalities, like routing and switching, are also eligible.
(2) A manufacturer’s multi-year warranty for a period up to three years that is provided as an integral part of an eligible component, without a separately identifiable cost, may be included in the cost of the component.
(3) Caching is defined as a method that stores recently accessed information. Caching stores information locally so that the information is accessible more quickly than if transmitted across a network from a distance. A caching service or equipment that provides caching, including servers necessary for the provision of caching, is eligible for funding.