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E-Rate News Flash 24-02

Issue 24-02

March 6, 2024   

K-12 Broadband News Flash

Table of Contents


E-Rate Filing Window Now Open! File Your Applications by the March 27 Deadline

File your organization’s annual applications for E-Rate funding to support broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi for schools. All applications are filed in the E-Rate Productivity Center online application platform via Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) websitePlease contact USAC’s customer service center at (888) 203-8100 and contact K12HSN’s California E-Rate support team via email for assistance.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is Winding Down

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) subsidy will be suspended in April unless additional funding is authorized by Congress. During the ACP wind-down period, ACP households will receive notices from their internet provider about the impact, and some are offering low-cost broadband plans to help the households sustain connectivity. The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Fund website provides additional details about the wind-down process.  


The U.S. Department of Education’s 2024 National Educational Technology Plan Focuses on Closing the Digital Divide 

The U.S. Department of Education’s first significant update in seven years to the National Educational Technology Plan, A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design and Use Divides, was released in late January. Lindsay Unified School District is highlighted as a of a rural school district successfully and systemically achieving equitable digital access. 


AT&T is Asking to Withdraw from its Provider of Last Resort Obligation Throughout California 

AT&T has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for relief of its Carrier of Last Resort obligation. If approved, AT&T would no longer be required to offer landline telephone Basic service, including Lifeline rates for eligible customers, free access to 9-1-1, Telephone Relay Service, and directory and operator services. The CPUC is holding Public Participation Hearings where consumers may hear more about the proposal and express their views. Upcoming hearings will be held on March 14 in Indio and on March 19 via virtual webcast or phone. More information, including a listing of locales impacted, may be viewed at the CPUC Public Participation Hearings website. 

Important Dates and Deadlines

Keeping up with deadlines of various funding programs will ensure your organization will not lose out on funds! 


FY2024 Form 471 Application Deadline                                   March 27, 2024 8:59 P.M. PT

FY2023 Non-Recurring Cost Reimbursement Deadline           May 28, 2024

FY2023 Special Construction Deadline                                    June 30, 2024

Emergency Connectivity Fund

Last Date to Receive Equipment or Services                           June 30, 2024

Last Date to File for Reimbursement                                      August 29, 2024

Training and Assistance

K12 High Speed Network E-Rate Support Resources 

K12HSN’s E-Rate Support Team is available to assist schools with questions during the E-Rate application window. Schools may request support from the team by email at The team’s webinars and office hours specific to the FCC Form 471 window are available at K12HSN’s E-Rate training website. 

Universal Services Administrative Company Recorded Resources 

E-Rate Resources

USAC has pre-recorded webinars and other materials available at the USAC website. Please subscribe to USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief to receive the most current program information and announcements.

Emergency Connectivity Fund Resources

USAC has conducted multiple office hour webinars for ECF. As the program winds down, make sure to review program requirements for tracking of equipment and services and submission requirements for program reimbursements.  The Federal Communications Commission’s Frequently Asked Questions website is also a tremendous resource and is updated regularly.

E-Rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Gather Your Documents for Submission During Application Review

There are several documents that may be used to support your E-Rate application, Form 471. USAC may reach out to the listed point of contact to request copies of documents during its review. Learn more about the USAC process. The documents requested are uploaded into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) online system under the Form 471 inquiries section. The most common questions pertain to the eligibility of entities associated with the application, the discount calculation, and the eligibility of services associated with the funding requested.

All applicants have a minimum of 15 calendar days to respond to USAC’s request for information. Don’t hesitate to ask for more time if it is needed or to ask clarifying questions by contacting the reviewer. Failing to respond may result in denial of the application for funds.

Eligibility of Entities

There are eight different traditional and non-traditional school or program types that are eligible for E-Rate funding. Each is represented by a tab in the E-Rate Entity Validation Matrix located on the CDE’s E-rate Entity Validation website. Regardless of the type of school or program, all E-Rate applicants must demonstrate that they are a qualified E-Rate entity. The most common method to support entity eligibility is to provide a screen shot of a school’s status in the California School Directory. Head Start entities may print a screen shot from the Head Start Center Locator. Pre-K entities may provide a license or a screen shot from the California Department of Social Services website.

Discount Calculation

The amount of funding an organization qualifies for is referred to the E-Rate Discount. It is derived by a formula using the current enrollment and number of meeting National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility requirements as well as the urban or rural status of schools within the school district. Every year, USAC may ask for third-party documentation to support the enrollment and NSLP information reported on the Form 471. Third-party documentation may include one or more of the following sources:

Eligibility of Services

USAC will request documentation supporting the funding requests for broadband and Wi-Fi services. Documentation is typically obtained from the service provider and may include: quotations, bids, contracts, purchase orders, and billings.  

Grant Opportunities

Digital Equity Act Grants are Coming Soon! 

Details on two federal Digital Equity Grant Programs will be announced in the coming months. The Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program will both publish Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) this calendar year. Now is the time to review California’s Digital Equity Plan, and to start working with your communities on partnering up to help targeted populations benefit from this historic investment. The Coalition on Adult Basic Education has published useful webinars called Digital Equity Champions for All Learners to outline important details of these forthcoming opportunities!

BIG Grant Helps Bring Fiber Broadband Connectivity to Unserved Schools 

The Broadband Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program provides fiber broadband connectivity to California’s most poorly connected schools to promote digital learning opportunities. The 

grant supports the build out, project management, and implementation of high-speed broadband for schools lacking fiber broadband connectivity. For more information, please visit CENIC’s BIG Program website and complete the simple application form!

Conferences and Meetings

Attend Upcoming Conferences

CUE Annual Conference in Palm Springs - March 21-23

At the 2024 Spring CUE Conference in Palm Springs, educators will unite to ignite inspiration, foster connections, and explore cutting-edge teaching techniques and educational technology for their classrooms. Register at the Spring CUE 2024 conference website!

CENIC’s Biennial Conference in Monterey - March 25-27

CENIC's "The Right Connection" conference is created by the CENIC community for the CENIC community. Network with colleagues from all of CENIC's segments, including public and private research universities; public libraries; science and cultural institutions; technology businesses; healthcare; public policy and government. Visit The Right Connection conference website for all the details.

CASBO Con 2024 in Palm Springs – April 7-10

Connect, learn, and grow with 2,000+ California school business professionals during the 2024 CASBO Annual Conference and School Business Expo! For more information, check out the CASBO Con 2024 conference website!

Consortium for School Networking’s CoSN2024 - April 8-10

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will hold its annual conference in Miami, Florida, from April 8-10, 2024. The CoSN annual conference allows attendees to meet and experience top-notch education, network, and information share with industry colleagues, as well as learn about products and services in the EdTech space. Check out the CoSN2024 conference website for more information!

ISTE Live 2024 – June 23-26

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will hold its annual conference in Denver, Colorado, from June 23-26. Scale to new heights during hundreds of sessions that will bring you up to speed on the latest learning strategies and edtech trends! Visit the ISTE Live conference website for details!

Participate in Upcoming Meetings to Learn About and Help Inform California Broadband Initiatives

California Teleconnect Fund-Administrative Committee Meeting – June 3

The California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) program provides a 50% discount on advanced communication services (including Internet access and broadband services) to qualifying schools, libraries, community colleges, government-owned hospitals/health clinics, and community-based organizations. The next California Teleconnect Fund-Administrative Committee Meeting will be held on June 3, 2024, 10:00am -2:00 pm at the Sacramento Public Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Middle-Mile Advisory Committee – April 19

The Middle-Mile Advisory Committee monitors the development and construction of the middle mile. Internet service providers and other eligible entities can connect and deliver service through the new middle-mile network. Meetings stream live; please visit Middle-Mile Advisory Committee website to access meetings and recordings.

California Broadband Council – April 23

The California Broadband Council (CBC) was established by SB 1462 (Chapter 338, Statutes of 2010) to promote broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of the state as defined by the Public Utilities Commission, and broadband adoption throughout the state. Visit the California Broadband Council’s website for more information and to sign up for updates.

Bright Spots

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Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions to K12HSN via email



California Department of Education

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