Published: 6/12/2015 4:19 PM

The Universal Service program for schools and libraries, more commonly known as E-rate, is a federal initiative that provides discounts on telecommunications, Internet, and eligible internal connection technologies to elementary and secondary schools and public libraries across this country.

The E-Rate discount program was authorized by Congress as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and signed into law by President Clinton in February 1996.
All public elementary and secondary schools, as well as most K-12 private and parochial schools, are eligible for discounts under the E-Rate program.  In addition, libraries that are independent of institutions of higher education are also eligible. Colleges, universities, and their affiliated libraries, are not eligible to participate in the program; nor are day care centers or after-school programs held off campus.
The discounts on services or products range between 20% and 90%, depending on the level of need among the students at a particular school or in the community. The level of need is measured using the levels of eligibility (not participation) for the national school lunch program, which provides free and reduced price lunches to low-income students. For libraries, the level of eligibility in the school district where the library is located determines the level of discount for the library.
​On December 11, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the second of two Orders aimed at modernizing the E-rate program. Together, the two Orders encompass the goals of ensuring affordable access to high-speed broadband, maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate purchases, and making the E-rate program application process fast, simple, and efficient.  Below are the links for both orders and a combined summary.
First FCC Erate Modernization Order
Second FCC Erate Modernization Order
KDE Summary of Erate Modernization Order 1.7.15.pdfKDE Summary of Erate Modernization Order 1.7.15.pdf

Discount Data


E-Rate Resource Materials


State Contract Matrix


Technology Planning





​Scott Kane
Office of Knowledge, Information and Data Services
Division of Engineering and Management Services
15 Fountain Place
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2020 ext. 2214
Fax (502) 564-1519