Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Illinois State Library


E-rate is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Funding may be requested under two categories of service: Category One services include Data Transmission Services, Internet Access, and Voice Services. Category Two services include Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts for support depend on the category of service requested, the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the appropriate school district. Discounts range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.

Library Eligibility

Process & Timeline

Application Filing Window: These dates differ each year. Please refer to USAC’s website for updates.

Form 470: Description of Services Requested and Certification Form

Form 471: Services Ordered and Certification Form

Form 486: Confirm Receipt of Services Form

Form 472: Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form

Time Line: The funding year runs from July 1 to June 30 for recurring services and July 1 to September 30 for non-recurring services.

Appeals: Must be submitted and postmarked no later than 60 days after the date of USAC’s decision letter.

Discount Levels

Applicants use the discount matrix below to determine the correct discount level for an individual school or library outlet.

Income Category One
Schools and Libraries
Category Two
Schools and Libraries
The discount level is measured by % of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Discount Level: Discount Level:
Urban Discount Rural Discount Urban Discount Rural Discount
Less than 1% 20% 25% 20% 25%
1% to 19% 40% 50% 40% 50%
20% to 34% 50% 60% 50% 60%
35% to 49% 60% 70% 60% 70%
50% to 74% 80% 80% 80% 80%
75% to 100% 90% 90% 85% 85%

E-rate Resources

Additional Resources for Illinois Schools and Libraries

Illinois Procurement Bulletin: Master Contracts

Schools and libraries may use the Statewide Master Contracts listed below to purchase items for E-Rate Category 2, or use the information provided in them as a reference when completing Form FCC 470. To begin the process of seeking funding for eligible services under the E-rate program, applicants must initiate the required competitive bidding process by filing FCC Form 470 online with USAC.

If you have any questions about E-rate, please contact your library system E-rate consultant or call the State Library at 217–785–0363.