The schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as the E-Rate program, helps schools and libraries obtain affordable broadband. Eligible schools, school districts, and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.

Funding may be requested under two categories of service: services to a school or library (telecommunications, telecommunications services and Internet access), and services that deliver Internet access within schools and libraries (internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections, and managed internal broadband services).

Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and whether the school or library is located in an urban or rural area. The discounts range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services. E-Rate program funding is based on demand up to an annual established cap.

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