The Schools and Libraries Division welcomes you to take the first step in applying for E-Rate discounts for July 1, 2000 - June 30, 2001, year three. Schools and Libraries seeking discounts on telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections may now file the new FCC Form 470.
Form 470, which is the first E-Rate form that most applicants must file, lists the services schools and libraries are seeking and allows service providers to respond to those requests. Applicants may file Form 470 at any time as long as it is at least 28 days before executing contracts and filing Form 471. Form 471 would be filed during a window period that opened November 1 and will close on January 19, 2000. In an effort to simplify and streamline the application process there have been some key changes made to the program. For information about how schools and libraries can apply for E-Rate discounts and obtain Form 470 call the Client Service Bureau toll-free at (888) 203-8100 or visit the SLD Web Site at: www.sl.universalservice.org and www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/forms.asp
The Arkansas Department of Education's Technology and Infrastructure Planning Unit is dedicated to simplify the E-Rate filing process for Arkansas Public Schools. A primary objective is to facilitate wider participation in the E-Rate program in Arkansas. The unit maintains an "E-Rate News" area on its web site that keeps Arkansas schools current on new announcements from the SLD and is updated frequently. The E-Rate News Web Site can be located at: http://arkedu.state.ar.us/infrastructure.htm
The unit also conducts workshops on the E-Rate application process. The objectives are to:
1) Prepare participants to successfully apply for E-Rate discounts
2) Help participants become familiar with changes for Program Year Three
3) Reduce the amount of time it takes for school personnel to successfully file applications (reduce the burden)
4) Maximize district savings under the Universal Service Program for eligible services
5) Assist participants in calculating their discount
6) Assist participants in understanding all eligible services under the E-Rate Program
7) Assist participants in working effectively with their service providers/vendors offering E-Rate eligible services
We hope all of you are able to participate and benefit from the E-Rate program.
A note of caution: It is important to remember that only applicants can complete Form 470. USAC and the SLD views the completion of Form 470 by service providers to be a violation of the competitive bidding requirements, as it appears that the applicant has a pre-existing relationship with the vendor, which compromises the fair competition that is the purpose of Form 470.