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E-Rate News Flash 24-03

Issue 24-03

April 3, 2024   

K-12 Broadband News Flash

Table of Contents


E-Rate Funding Year 2024 Updates

The annual application window closed on March 27. California K-12 organizations requested $290 million in funding - $196 million for Category 1 broadband and $94 million for Category 2 Wi-Fi infrastructure. If you missed the deadline, there is a short grace period to file your application by April 10.  Late-filed applications require a request for waiver of the deadline from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Help is available! Please contact K12HSN’s California E-Rate support team at for assistance with late filing and support in receiving relief from the FCC.

The Affordable Connectivity Program Likely to End Support in May

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a $30 per month per household internet subsidy, will run out of funding in May.  The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Fund website provides additional details about the wind-down process.

We Want Your Voice

The Digital Equity Broadband team at CDE is asking for your input on a draft feedback form meant to glean insights about digital equity from you. Please take a few minutes to complete the draft form to the best of your ability no later than April 19 so that we can iterate and launch soon!

Important Dates and Deadlines

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


Grace Period Ends for Form 471 Filing                                                    April10, 2024

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 at any time regarding E-Rate program requirements and deadlines. Schools may reach out to the team via e-mail to request support by contacting The team’s webinars and office hours are recorded and posted on K12HSN’s E-Rate training website.  The team will be holding webinars in the upcoming months to help K-12 schools maximize their E-Rate funding opportunities. Select the topic links below to register:

You've Received Your E-Rate Funding Commitment, Now What?  April 25 at 1:00 PM PT

Best Practices for Receiving Timely E-Rate Reimbursements May 23 at 1:00 PM PT

Understanding and Preparing for E-Rate Audits June 20 at 1:00 PM PT

Universal Service Administrative Company Resources 

E-Rate Resources

The Universal Service Administrative Company (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. USAC will hold a webinar this month, click on the topic name to register:

Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Review and Selective Review Process Webinar

April 18 at 11:00 AM PT


USAC to Hold 2024 Regional In-Person Training Events

USAC is holding in-person training sessions in various regions of the country covering program processes and updates for Funding Year 2025. All E-Rate program participants are welcome including applicants, service providers, and consultants of all experience levels. Registration links will be coming soon. 

E-Rate Training: September 17, 2024 Dallas, TX 

E-Rate Training: October 7, 2024 Washington, DC 

E-Rate Training: October 29, 2024 Fayetteville, AR 

Tribal-Focused E-Rate Training: November 12, 2024 Palm Springs, CA

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.

California Public Utilities Commission Broadband Internet Caseworkers

Could you benefit from additional support about broadband strategies and funding opportunities? Leverage the CPUC Caseworkers who provide seminars and expertise about grants, project planning, data and mapping, business models, and regulations. Request a meeting for help navigating the complex landscape of strategies and funding for developing affordable high-speed internet for everyone.

E-Rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Review Children’s Internet Protection Act Requirements

Any K-12 organization receiving E-Rate funding for Internet access or Category 2 services must annually certify that it is compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) before it can receive funds. CIPA requires, among other things, that the K-12 organization filter Internet content accessed by minors and adults and to educate minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness, and response. Please visit the CDE’s Digital Citizenship website to learn more about resources available to schools to support their compliance with CIPA requirements, including free curriculum. 

Don't Ignore USAC Audit Inquiries

All participants in the E-Rate program, K-12 organizations and service providers alike, are subject to audit. USAC, or audit firms working on USAC’s behalf, may contact K-12 applicants if their organization or their service provider is subject to audit. It may be difficult to determine the difference between an inquiry for a K-12 organization audit or a service provider audit. 

A K-12 organization audit will identify the specific funding requests and reimbursements being audited and will include a long list of documents that must be presented to the auditors. This process typically involves an entrance telephone call and may last several months or more before an audit report is prepared and shared with the K-12 organization. 

For service provider audits, USAC may contact the K-12 organization with a short questionnaire to complete and may not request any additional documents. Once the questionnaire is submitted, there may be no further contact from the auditor and there is no audit report shared with the K-12 organization. In either case, it is important not to ignore the audit request. If you need more time to respond to USAC’s request, ask for it.

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! The next webinar is scheduled for April 17 at 11:00 AM PT, you may sign up by selecting the topic link: Digital Equity Champions for All Learners: Partnering to Advance Digital Equity. 

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 to Network with Likeminded Technology-Focused Colleagues

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! The conference is presented by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) and includes sessions on school district leadership, technology, and contracting, among others. 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!

California Broadband Summit at the CalMatters Ideas Festival in Sacramento - June 5-6

If you are looking to leverage historic investments in broadband? If so, join in the discussion and hear from key experts on California’s implementation of the BEAD program, middle mile, and Net Neutrality. Visit the California Broadband Summit website to register!

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!

Events and Meetings

CDE and CUE Present: AI is in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once! - Every 2nd Tuesday

Are you interested in the latest conversations about computer science and artificial intelligence? Listen in, ask questions, and share experiences during the monthly live stream webinar - and

California 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.

California Advanced Services Fund Workshop – April 29

The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) promotes broadband adoption and infrastructure deployment in unserved areas with a goal of providing broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California households. The annual conference will facilitate collaboration among regional consortia, stakeholders, local governments, existing facility-based broadband providers, and consumers regarding cost-effective strategies to reach unserved areas. View the public workshop announcement for details on how to attend the workshop remotely.

Bright Spots

Please share any bright spots from your department, division, outreach, etc. Pictures welcome!


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




California Department of Education

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