In 1998, the Universal Service Fund (USF) to schools and libraries, commonly referred to as E-rate, was implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) through the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) makes E-Rate applications for schools in association with statewide technology projects, leveraging Tools for Schools funding, statewide Internet access and state backbone.
The WVDE provides technical assistance with the E-rate application process to all West Virginia counties requesting funding, on behalf of all schools, and approves county technology plans. In addition to the applications, files for the counties/schools any clarifications or appeals needed for all Funding Years, as requested.
Materials to assist with the application process are provided in the private E-rate SharePoint Intranet site, available only to K-12 counties. The introduction to new information, the exchange of questions and answers and the provision for other technical assistance by WVDE allows counties and schools to maximize the benefits and cost discounts of E-rate.