As Funding Year 2015 application review times continue to be shortened, the expectation remains that commitment decisions will be released earlier. E-rate applicants should begin preparing now for the next steps in the E-rate funding process, and for the start of the E-rate 2015 funding year. This edWeb.net seminar from the Your Online Guide to E-Rate Funding community covered best practices and what to expect heading into the first year of the new and improved E-rate program. Equipping yourself with these fundamentals will help to ensure program compliance and will help to realize the maximum potential of E-rate funding opportunities for the upcoming funding year.
For this webinar, we covered best practices for implementation and installation, how to prepare for application review, and took a look at nationwide demand for Funding Year 2015. Jennifer Gardner (Director, IT Finance & Subsidies, School District of Philadelphia) joined Funds For Learning in this discussion, related to practices and strategies that have assisted in Philadelphia School District’s successful navigation of the E-rate program. Learning and acting on these principles will help to ensure that your equipment projects are completed timely, as well as help you to realize your E-rate discounts sooner.
Applicants nationwide for the Funding Year 2015 E-rate application are diligently trying to create applications that will address their needs.The filing window extension has given everyone more opportunity to ensure that their E-rate applications are ready to go. Focusing on quality and effectiveness now, can save both time and money for schools and libraries during the funding year.
E-rate applicants only have until March 26th to finalize their E-rate applications and submit funding requests for Funding Year 2015. In the short time that is left before the filing deadline, schools and libraries are working to complete their forms accurately, document the many decisions that factor into the application, and prepare for the application review process.
Thoughtful and intentional work during the hectic E-rate application season is the best defense that applicants have against funding delays, reductions or denials. The presenters looked at the information that goes into the new version of the Form 471, reviewed best-practices for crafting an application, and explained how to document the process in ways that will help during funding request reviews.
With the E-rate Modernization Order, the FCC has set the E-rate program on course to provide much needed funding for broadband connectivity and on-campus capacity. The Funding Year 2015 Filing Window will be a fresh opportunity for schools and libraries to evaluate their E-rate strategy, learn the new ins-and-outs of the program, and make the important decisions which can set their applications up for success.
A new proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recommends an increase to the annual cap on spending for school internet as part of the continuing E-Rate overhaul initiative. FCC Chairman Wheeler proposed additional support for the E-rate program, increasing its annual funding to $3.9 billion, up from its current $2.4 billion level – almost a 60% increase in the fund.
With the bidding season for Funding Year 2015 well underway, understanding the new E-rate program will be key to a successful Funding Year 2015 application. Learn how to navigate the procurement process to clearly show you followed the E-rate rules.
Annual USAC training events offer information and updates about the upcoming E-rate funding cycle. With reform changes, it is more important than ever to receive training about the E-rate program and practical clarification from USAC on the new rules for the program.
The FCC has made strides to modernize and reform the E-rate program with the news rules made official with the 7th Report and Order. E-rate 2.0 promises to give new prospects for network equipment funding for many school and library sites nationwide – but new challenges may arise with the new opportunities.