The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services. USAC carries out its functions as the administrator of the federal universal service programs and Universal Service Fund (USF) under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
USAC administers universal service programs for high-cost companies in rural areas, low-income consumers, rural health care providers, and schools and libraries.
The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. The program is intended to ensure that schools and libraries have access to affordable telecommunications and information services.
Eligible participants include public and most non-profit K-12 schools as well as all public and many private libraries. Program participants must carry out a competitive bidding process to select the most cost-effective companies to provide the goods and/or services requested.
Program participants may request funding in five categories of service: Telecommunications, Telecommunications Services, 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 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.
(Excerpt downloaded from: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/erate.html on December 5, 2018)
Learn about eRate services and supports provided by Region One ESC by clicking the Overview link.