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Mitel Vertical Programs Resource - E-rate Guide

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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.

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.


Partners may participate in selling E-rate eligible services/equipment by obtaining a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN). See link below to obtain a SPIN #.

Understanding Priority 1 vs. Priority 2:

Priority 1

  • Telecommunication services
  • Phone lines, Internet access, managed service
  • Priority 1 is always funded first

Priority 2

  • Equipment
  • Internal connections: servers, network cabling, phone systems
  • Priority 2 is funded second not guaranteed to be funded*Phone handsets and softphones – not eligible P1 or P2
E-rate process overview:

Schools and library applicants

  • Step 1 determine eligibility
  • Step 2 develop a technology plan
  • Step 3 open a competitive bidding process
  • Step 4 select a service provider
  • Step 5 calculate the discount level
  • Step 6 determine your eligible services
  • Step 7 submit your application for program support
  • Step 8 undergo application review
  • Step 9 receive your funding decision
  • Step 10 begin receipt of services
  • Step 11 invoice USAC

Service Provider

  • Step 1 obtain a Service Provider Identification Number
  • Step 2 search applicant requests for service
  • Step 3 respond to applicant requests for products and services
  • Step 4 applicants select service provider
  • Step 5 assist applicants with application review
  • Step 6 receive Funding Commitment Decision Letter
  • Step 7 begin providing services
  • Step 8 file annual certification
  • Step 9 invoice USAC

E-Rate Funding Process

  1. Technology Plan— A 3–5 year plan of how technology will be integrated to improve Education.
  2. Form 470—Request for Service: This form serves as a bid for potential vendors to see what this applicant is looking to purchase, must post for 28 days.
  3. Form 471—Services Selected: Applicant selects a vendor and services, vendor provides cost breakdown to applicant, occurs November – February.
  4. Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL)—Applicant and selected vendor receive letter approving funds requested.

Mitel Contact:

Mitel Vertical Programs Manager


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