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E-Rate Information

E-Rate, Simplified


CEN provides solutions for the specific needs of our K-12 and library partners since 2001 by providing in-house expertise as a trusted provider of E-Rate eligible services.


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Essential Resources

Our hand-picked resources to lead you through the E-rate process.

E-Rate Overview
E-Rate Process Flow
Informative Videos

CEN Eligible Services


CEN’s E-Rate eligible internet is the best connected and longest running regional network developed specifically for schools and libraries.


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Private Ethernet

CEN Private Ethernet Service is a reliable network point-to-point connection that offers high quality affordable service.


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Managed Wi-Fi

CEN’s E-Rate eligible managed Wi-Fi is the best connected and longest running regional network developed specifically for schools and libraries.


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Managed Firewall

CEN offers a managed firewall solution as a first line of defense against malicious Internet traffic.


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What is E-Rate?

The Universal Service Schools and Libraries Program (E-rate Program) helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain affordable rates for telecommunications, Internet access, internal connections, and basic maintenance of internal connections. The program, which is administered by the non-profit Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), provides discounts on services and hardware. In your telephone and cable bills, you pay a Universal Services charge which is allocated toward this program.


What is Funded?

The list of Eligible Services changes each funding year. This funding year (July 2019-June 2020) the following items are eligible for discounts:

Category One


  • Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, such as broadband over power lines, cable modems, DSL, T-1 or T-3 lines, ethernet, fiber optic lines, and satellite service.
  • Voice Services, including many kinds of telephone service options.

Category Two


  • Internal Connections, such as wireless access points, routers, internal cabling, switches, Uninterruptible Power Supply/battery backup packs, and wireless controller systems.
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services, such as hiring a company to install, monitor, and fix the broadband networkor Wi-Fi.
  • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections, including repair and upkeep, maintenance of cable and fiber, configuration changes, tech support, and software upgrades.



Your library’s discount rate is based on the percentage of students in your school district who are eligible for free or reduced lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); and whether the library is classified as urban or rural.


Discounts range from 20% to 90%

Examples in CT:

Ferguson Library, Stamford


Mansfield Library


Levi E. Coe Library, Middlefield


Stamford Public School District


Farmington Public School District


Deep River Public School District


In order to get discounts on Internet Service, Wi-Fi, and most other eligible services, your library must be CIPA compliant. (Exception: dark fiber special construction)

Library and School District authorities must certify one of the following:

  • They have complied with the requirements of CIPA.
  • They are undertaking actions to comply with the requirements of CIPA. (This option is available only if this is your library’s first year since 2001 to apply for E-rate funding for internet access and services other than telephones.)
  • CIPA does not apply to them because they are receiving discounts for telecommunications services only.


How CEN can help

  • No cost filtering – part of CEN ISP Service (optional).
  • iboss Cybersecurity provides cloud solution hosted within multiple of CEN’s data centers. Members can log into a portal dedicated to their organization to manage filtering policies.
  • Members have the option to purchase their own iBoss filter appliance, minus the cost of licensing which is covered by CEN currently through August 2018. Leveraging an internal appliance allows for integration with the members domain server and more granular visibility and control over individual users.


To find out how CEN can help you apply E-Rate funding, contact us.

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Get Connected


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CEN’s scalable, resilient network design offers an unmatched combination of performance attributes for speed, latency, reliability, and security.

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CEN’s cost recovery model provides competitive pricing, custom tailored services, and larger feature sets as compared to other for-profit ISPs.

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CEN's Connecticut based team backs its members with 24/7/365 Network Operations Center (NOC) and access to senior technical staff for the most consistent, local, expert service available.