What are E-rate and EOR?

E-rate and EOR provide funding that, when combined together, can fully cover the cost of a public library’s internet service costs.

E-rate is the common name for the universal service Schools and Libraries Program, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). E-rate discounts can range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services (including internet service costs) and can be provided as a discount on the bill from the service provider to the library or as a reimbursement directly to the library.

The Education Opportunity Resource (EOR) Act, as stated in Idaho Code §33-5602 through 33-5605, makes the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) responsible for reimbursing Idaho public libraries for the after E-rate discount portion of approved broadband services. These state broadband reimbursements are available to eligible libraries every six months. The Broadband Reimbursement Overview (PDF) provides more information about the process.

Where can I go for help?

Doug Baker, ICfL’s Library Technology Consultant, is the Idaho State E-rate Coordinator for Libraries and the EOR Coordinator for Public Libraries. He is available to assist Idaho public libraries with all aspects of E-rate and EOR and can be reached at doug.baker@libraries.idaho.gov or 208-639-4173.

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What about school libraries?

E-rate and EOR are also available to schools and school libraries. The Idaho State Department of Education Technology Services has more information available on E-rate and EOR for interested schools and school libraries.