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5 Ways a Partner Can Help Make the Most of Your E-Rate Program

April 25, 2022  |  by Catherine Banker, Director of Education Compliance

The Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries, known as the E-Rate program, is a powerful tool that schools and libraries can use to get the technology and related services they need to best serve their communities.

However, in order to receive E-Rate funding, discounts, and support, schools and libraries must meet specific eligibility and documentation requirements, which can be complex and tedious for even experienced education and technology leaders to do.

Add in recent program changes, such as that schools and libraries will receive funding over a five-year period, and creating a responsive yet forward-looking strategy and plan to maximize your E-Rate funding becomes even more important and complicated.

Fortunately, schools and libraries don’t have to go it alone; there are partners out there ready to help your organization navigate the nuances of the E-Rate program and help maximize the benefits your communities see for years to come.

Here are just five of the key ways an experienced partner can help maximize your E-Rate program:

1. Access to Expert Network Engineers 

The security, networking, wireless technology, and tools that enable the backbone of your organization’s infrastructure are constantly evolving just as the demands of your community are growing.

Multiplying these dynamics by the number of sites across your district and evaluating the performance and health of your infrastructure can become an overwhelming task.

Having access to a surge of experience from a partner’s expert network engineers can expedite the evaluation of your infrastructure and accurately document and prioritize any future requirements of your network infrastructure.

2. Hands-On with State-of-the-Art Technology

A partner with a true consultative approach and a strong network of technology partners can also help your team to more efficiently learn about, evaluate, and test new tools. 

Whether it is arranging internal proof-of-concept tests to better understand the available options or supporting live demos of equipment with end users, a trusted partner can keep your organization operating at the cutting edge.

3. Support for Data-Driven Investment Decisions

If you were to poll the technology leaders across your organization, it is likely that they could quickly list a range of investment and upgrade needs. 

Avoid the stress of analysis paralysis and get an objective, holistic view of your infrastructure needs across your enterprise so you can prioritize the procurement and implementation of technology where it is needed the most.

4. End-to-End Implementation and Managed Services Support

One study found that less than 30 percent of digital transformation projects result in the improved performance expected at the onset. 

Prevent adding more to your internal staff’s plate and get the end-to-end implementation support and ongoing managed services your team needs to make the most out of every E-Rate dollar. 

5.  Navigation of Key E-Rate Program Checkpoints

The E-Rate program is a powerful way to infuse your organization with the funding and procurement support it needs to deliver for your community. However, applying and accounting for each dollar can be complex without knowing the ins and outs of the E-Rate process.

Future-Proof Your Educational Tech with VectorUSA

With nearly 30 years of experience working hands-on with schools and libraries across the country, VectorUSA has the experience, tools, and partnerships your organization needs to not only maximize your E-Rate programs but also to create a multiyear plan that helps to future-proof your educational technology. 

Ready to learn more about recent E-Rate program changes and how VectorUSA is poised to be your trusted partner? Then make sure to check out our E-Rate guide.

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