E-Rate Changes for Category One


E-Rate Product Eligibility Changes for 2015

The E-Rate Modernization Order, the Commission has made the following changes to the eligible services framework of the E-Rate program for 2015-2016.

Category One

Eligible Voice Services

Eligible voice services are subject to an annual 20 percentage point phase down of E-rate support beginning in funding year 2015, as described in the E-rate Modernization Order. The reduced discount rate for voice services will apply to all applicants and all costs for the provision of telephone services and circuit capacity dedicated to providing voice services including:

  • Centrex
  • Interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
  • Local, long distance, and 800 service, e.g., a toll-free telephone number for students to contact school regarding questions about homework
  • Plain old telephone service (POTS)
  • Radio loop
  • Satellite telephone service
  • Shared telephone service (only the portion of the shared services relating to the eligible use and location may receive discounts)
  • Wireless telephone service including cellular voice and excluding data and text messaging

Eligibility limitations for certain Category One services:

Fiber – E-Rate support is available for leased lit and dark fiber as described in the Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order (FCC 10-175) and the subsequent “Frequently Asked Questions” (DA 10-2356).

  • Leased Lit Fiber – Monthly charges, special construction, and maintenance charges are eligible. When lit fiber is leased as a Category One service, modulating electronics can be included as a part of that eligible service.
  • Leased Dark Fiber – Within the eligible entity’s property line, maintenance and special construction costs to connect the fiber to the eligible entity’s facilities are eligible. Beyond the eligible entity’s property line, special construction charges are not eligible, but monthly charges and maintenance provided as a component of leased dark fiber to maintain reliable operation are eligible. Re-routing of fiber is considered construction, not maintenance. If other customers are served by the leased dark fiber, only the pro-rate costs of maintenance incurred by the eligible entity will be eligible for E-Rate support. The purchase and ownership of modulating electronics associated with lighting dark fiber and modulating electronics on applicant-leased dark fiber leaving the eligible entity’s premises are not eligible.

Internet access – Eligible Internet access may include features such as basic firewall protection, domain name service, and dynamic host configuration when these features are provided as a standard component of a vendor’s Internet access service. Firewall protection may not be provided by a vendor other than the Internet access provider and may not be priced out separately. Examples of items that are ineligible components of Internet access include applications, content, e-mail, and equipment such as computers, laptops, tablets, and all other end-user devices.

IRUs – An Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU) purchase arrangement will be considered a lease of dark fiber for E-Rate program purposes. If the IRU contains significant upfront charges, the charges may need to be amortized.

Wireless services and wireless Internet access services – Managed internal broadband services, such as managed Wi-Fi, are eligible only for Category Two support.

The E-Rate program provides funding for voice, video and data networking equipment.  It also provides funding for telecommunications services and maintenance which supports communications and Internet access in the classroom. E-Rate funding supports equipment and services provided by most major communications manufacturers and service providers.

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Applying for E-Rate Support, the Surazal Systems’ Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is 143021108. When selecting Surazal as your provider, make sure to enter this number on Form 471.