Governor Mike Beebe has proposed a $10 million matching-grant program to help districts improve Internet connectivity. The bill to establish a Broadband Facilities Matching Grant Program would be funded with a one-time transfer from the state General Improvement Fund to the Department of Education Public School Fund. If the Legislature appropriates and funds the Governor’s request this funding could be leveraged at the district level for up to an additional $40 million in new E-Rate funding for local loop/WAN connectivity (the last mile).
To qualify for this potential new funding each district must file a Form 470 that includes a request for the local loop/WAN connections by February 26, 2014. Districts are encouraged to submit this request and even re-apply for E-Rate online if they have not included this request in their existing Form 470(s).
The Technology Resources Unit provides guidance, professional staff development and serves as the Arkansas E-Rate State Coordinators.
The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as “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. It is one of four support programs funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services.
The Schools and Libraries Program supports connectivity – the conduit or pipeline for communications using telecommunications services and/or the Internet. Funding is requested under five categories of service: Telecommunications Services, Telecommunications, Internet Access, Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
For more information, please contact:
- $10 million Questions and Answers Posted 2/25/2014 pdf
- Letter to Superintendents Posted 2/14/2014 pdf
- Schools & Libraries (E-Rate) Process Posted 9/1/2012 pdf
- E-Rate Acronyms Posted 9/1/2012 pdf
- Children's Internet Protection Act Posted 9/1/2012 pdf
- Program Overview Brochure Posted 9/1/2012 pdf
- Tips for Filing FCC Form 486 Online Posted 9/1/2012 pdf
- Schools & Libraries CIPA Requirements Posted 8/31/2012 pdf
- E-Rate Resource Brochure Posted 8/14/2012 pdf
- E-Rate Timeline Posted 8/14/2012 pdf