Funds For Learning's Recent Analysis of E-rate Data Reveals Fastest Funding Decision in Program History

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Funds begin flowing 21 days after school E-rate window closed; highest demand for lit fiber data and internet service

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Internet connections for schools and libraries are essential, and the E-rate program exists to support this important mission.

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues modernizing the E-rate program to expand robust networks in the nation’s schools and libraries, Funds For Learning reveals an analysis of the 2016 school E-rate filing window. Key findings include:

  • Coming just 21 days after the close of the filing window for schools, this year’s initial funding decisions were the fastest in the history of the E-rate program.
  • Funding requests for lit fiber data—large bandwidth connections—and internet service exceeded $1.2 billion, nearly five times the requested amount of the next highest service.
  • Although funding requests for lit fiber service dominated the FY2016 requested amount, the count of requests for discounts on voice service was the highest of any other service category.
  • The first funding wave (Wave 001) totaled $17.7 million and represented 2,251 Form 471 applications, consisting entirely of funding requests for internet, data and voice services, also known as Category 1 discounts. The applications included 4,402 individual funding requests split nearly evenly between voice and internet/data services.

“Internet connections for schools and libraries are essential, and the E-rate program exists to support this important mission,” John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning said. “The fast turn-around is a positive indication that funds will begin flowing and USAC will release applications quickly. Funds For Learning is committed to guiding schools through this process and championing this worthy cause.”

Since mandated by Congress in 1996, the E-rate program has provided discounted telecommunications, internet access and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.

To help advance the E-rate program, Funds For Learning offered an opportunity for applicants to participate in an annual survey to voice their opinions and concerns. The data from this survey will be available in the fall and shared with the FCC and lawmakers to make E-rate program improvements.
For more E-rate analysis, stop by booth 1823 during ISTE, or visit

About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student Internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit or phone 405-341-4140.

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Lauren West
C. Blohm & Associates
+1 (608) 216-7300 Ext: 26
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Brian Stephens
Funds For Learning
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