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) applied for E-rate funding in Funding Years 1998 and 1999 on behalf of all schools in West Virginia. Beginning in Funding Year 2000, the county school districts took over the application process for funding dollars at the local level. The WVDE continues to apply for schools in association with statewide technology projects such as Tools for Schools, statewide Internet access and state backbone.
The WVDE, Office of Technology Integration and Support (OTIS), continues to provide technical assistance with the E-rate application process to all West Virginia counties and schools requesting funding and approves county technology plans for E-rate eligibility. In addition to the applications, OTIS has also filed for the counties/schools any clarifications or appeals needed for all Funding Years as requested.
Materials to assist with the application process are available. The introduction to new information, the exchange of questions and answers and the provision for other technical assistance by OTIS will help counties and schools maximize the benefits and cost discounts of E-rate.
Julia Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org