E-Rate Funds for Schools and Libraries

Service Provider of E-Rate Services

USAC-logoCarolina Digital Phone, as a qualified Service Provider by the Universal Service Administrative Company (part of the FCC), and it’s sales agent Converged Networks, LLC, a long time K-12 education solutions provider, offer full service access to telecommunications services (commonly referred to as Interconnected-VoIP Services). These VoIP service offers make it possible to achieve the rich teaching and learning environment needed in schools and libraries. For these institutions to provide the high level of service necessary for their students to participate fully in American society, operational costs can be overwhelming. Telecommunications costs, including Hosted Interconnected VoIP services and Internet access, as well as the hardware needed to assemble local networks, and the maintenance of these systems and machines can stretch budgets that are already under stress. The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help most schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. And Converged Networks and Carolina Digital Phone provide competitive rates to help firther stretch your E-Rate funding.

School and Library Eligibility

Schools and libraries must meet statutory definitions to be eligible for Schools and Libraries Program support. For purposes of universal service fund (USF) support, schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. § 7801(18) and (38)):

  • An elementary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.
  • A secondary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that such term does not include any education beyond grade 12.
  • Schools operating as for-profit businesses or that have endowments exceeding $50 million are not eligible.
  • In many cases, non-traditional facilities and students may be eligible.
  • Specific eligibility of Head Start, pre-kindergarten, juvenile justice, and adult education student populations and facilities, can be found under Non-traditional Education.
  • An Educational Service Agency (ESA), which may operate owned or leased instructional facilities, may be eligible for Schools and Libraries Program support if it provides elementary or secondary education as defined in state law.

Library Eligibility

Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (Pub. L. 104-208) (LSTA) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act.

A library includes:

  • A public library
  • A public elementary school or secondary school library
  • An academic library
  • A research library, which for the purposes of this definition means a library that: makes publicly available library services and material suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public; and is not an integral part of an institution of higher education
  • A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of this definition
  • A library’s eligibility for support also depends on its funding as an independent entity. Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities) shall be eligible to receive discounted services.

For example, an elementary school library is only eligible to receive discounted services if its budget is completely separate from the elementary school. If its budget is not completely separate from the elementary school, the elementary school library is not eligible for support independent from the school with which it is associated.

Dedicated E-Rate Specialist: Converged Networks and Carolina Digital Phone, with their dedicated staff of specialists, will work with you on E-Rate Funding and will work with the Universal Service Administrative Company as you get funding for your projects. Our E-Rate specialists have many years of experience in E-Rate funding, implementation and deployment. You may contact an E-Rate specialist by calling Mike Hauer at (843) 725-3200.

About Carolina Digital Phone

We are a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provide products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony while reducing your overall cost. Our offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment and the many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with your existing land lines, cell phones or VoIP phones. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Carolina Digital Phone, your staff and teachers, whether in one location or far-away, can focus on serving your students while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike. Carolina Digital Phone is managed and operated by Carolina Digital Phone, a locally owned hosted PBX provider of high quality VoIP services based in Greensboro, North Carolina. IP-based, broadband telephone service delivers the excellent advantage of not requiring other lines or wire being hooked up directly. You already have high-speed internet access, now you can harness that power with a hosted PBX system. Services are available Nationwide. Our service partners include Level 3 Communications, Earthlink Carrier, Sprint and AT&T. If you have questions about our services, please call us first. If by email send your inquiry to inquiry@carolinadigitalphone.com. We will respond within one business day.

About Converged Networks

Converged Networks has been servicing the voice and data networking needs of K-12 school districts in North and South Carolina and beyond since 2001. We have a friendly, dedicated staff that is well trained and experienced in the needs of K-12 school districts, including Hosted VoIP, Ethernet switching wired networks, 802.11 wireless (WIFI) networks, Internet Content Filtering, Intrusion Detection and Prevention, Network Access Control for Bring Your on Device (BYOD) solutions, learning management systems, structured cabling, and other K-12 technology solutions. Call or click today for immediate assistance with any of the solutions listed above. 866-866-5312. www.convergednetworks.com

In North and South Carolina you can get a VoIP based Hosted PBX Internet telephone service from Converged Networks and Carolina Digital Phone that contains state-of-the-art technology for your school system or library. Our hosted PBX VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) internet phone services qualify for Priority 1 E-Rate funding and allows you to keep your local phone numbers. And new numbers anywhere in North or South Carolina are available for immediate activation. Ready to expand to a new community? You can quickly get a telephone number in New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles or even London, England for just a few dollars a month that will ring directly to your school of library in South Carolina. All these services are now available at a great savings for any size school or library, and it all qualifies for Priority 1 E-Rate funding which means you will qualify, no matter what your current free and reduce lunch percentages are.

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