E-Rate: Overcoming the Hurdle Presented by the WebJunction communities of Arizona, Kansas, and New Mexico NMLA/MPLA 2007 Conference 16 March 2007 E-Rate Overview The Universal Service Fund (USF) or E-Rate program is funded by interstate telecommunications usage charges. The program is designed to partially fund telecommunications services and infrastructure used for educational purposes in schools and libraries. If you pay a phone bill, you’re paying into the program. E-rate reimbursements can be used for: 1. Internet access 2. Internal connections 3. Telecommunications services 4. Basic maintenance of internal connections Why Apply? $$$$$$$$$$ that can help you expand your services. Online E-Rate Help and Resources Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), Schools and Library Division (SLD): Calculating Discounts - http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/default.aspx \ Data Retrieval Tool - http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/search-tools/data-retrieval-tool.aspx Eligible services list - http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/eligible-services-list.aspx Required Forms - http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/required-forms.aspx SLD News Briefs - http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs Technology Planning - http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step02/technology- planning/default.aspx Tip Sheets - http://www.usac.org/sl/about/tip-sheets.aspx Training for Success - http://www.paec.org/usac/ (online video training) TechAtlas, a technology planning tool at WebJunction.org: TechAtlas - http://webjunction.techatlas.org/tools/ TechAtlas for Libraries Forum - http://webjunction.org/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=49 TechAtlas for Libraries Online Course - http://webjunction.org/do/LearningCenter?method=getCourseDetails&courseId=4125 Some Others: E-Rate resources from the Arizona State Library – http://www.lib.az.us/erate/ E-Rate Glossary (MOREnet) - http://www.more.net/services/e-rate/glossary.html Acronyms Used in E-Rate (TPESC) - http://tpesc.esc12.net/erate/terminology.html E-rate and Technology Planning Assistance from the State Libraries (at WebJunction) - http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=12806 Tips to Help You Avoid DENIAL Ineligible products and services - 30% Rule – “When in doubt, break it out.” Contracts not signed or not in place - All contracts must be signed and dated by both the service provider and the applicant. This needs to be done after the 28-day waiting period. Information about this requirement can be found at http://www.universalservice.org/_res/documents/sl/ppt/2006-training/Program- Compliance.ppt#267,24,Contracts or for the complete presentation on program compliance go to http://www.universalservice.org/_res/documents/sl/ppt/2006-training/Program-Compliance.ppt Unauthorized consortium members - Make sure that you have Letters of Agency that meet the requirements as posted by the USAC - http://www.universalservice.org/sl/tools/reference/letters-of- agency.aspx Insufficient documentation - Respond to PIA (Program Integrity Assurance) requests for documentation - http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/6pia.asp and ensure you meet Federal Communication Commission (FCC) document retention requirements. Insufficient support resources - Secure access to and document sufficient resources to make effective use of the reimbursement funds, including money to pay your share, necessary hardware and software, electrical capacity and maintenance. Form 470 not filed - Don’t extend contracts without posting a Form 470 unless those extensions were mentioned on the establishing Form 470. Competitive bidding violations - Conduct a free and open, competitive bidding process. You cannot turn over this responsibility to a service provider. Document your compliance! 28-Day Rule violations - Keep your dates in order: Allowable Contract Date -- Contract Award Date -- Application Signed Date -- Application Received Date. Check out the E-Rate Folder Cover created by Chris Rippel, Central Kansas Library System as a starting point for your e-rate tracking - http://skyways.lib.ks.us/KSL/libtech/erate/coverforfolders2.html. Invalid telecom provider - Use the SPIN search tool on the USAC website as a guide to determine whether a provider is eligible to provide Telecommunications services. You will find all of the USAC search tools at http://www.universalservice.org/sl/tools/search-tools/. Form 470 not certified or certified late - Certify online and by window close! Presenter Contact Information: Malavika Muralidharan Cindi Hickey Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Kansas State Library email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sandy White Jeff Hall New Mexico State Library WebJunction email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Find this handout online at http://skyways.lib.ks.us/KSL/ce/MPLA/.