93 day E-Rate filing window opens on December 12th, 2012

The window for schools and districts to file for E-Rate funding opens on December 12th, 2012 and gives administrators 93 days to file the paperwork that lays out the telecom services they need funding for. The last day to file said paperwork is March 14th, 2013.

E-Rate is a federally funded multi-billion dollar program, that, based on location of the school and poverty levels of students attending it, helps the institutions obtain discounts on telecom services such as internet access, connectivity and maintenance of such services. Funds are allocated first to schools showing the most need for what the program deems “Priority 1” services, which are generally basic services sich as internet access, local, long distance and cell phone, voicemail, etc. Once all of those requests are satisfied, the remainder of the funds go to cover as many “Priority 2” requests as possible. Priority 2 includes things like purchase and maintenance of equipment such as routers, switches, hubs, network servers, operating software, etc.

Last year, schools requested over $5 billion in funding, and E-Rate was able to fund 100% of Priority 1 requests and 90% of Priority 2.

More on E-Rate here.