Education and E-Rate Phone Systems
Discounted VoIP Phone Service for Schools and Libraries
E-Rate Overview: The Schools and Libraries Program
The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund (USF), commonly known as “E‐Rate,” is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
Eligible E-Rate participants include public and most non-profit K-12 schools as well as all public and many private libraries. All program participants must carry out a competitive bidding process to select the most cost-effective companies to provide the goods and/or services requested. Using the E-Rate program can be a good way to get more for less, especially with so many schools and districts facing budget cuts.
There are five categories of eligible services in two funding priorities:
- Telecommunications Services
- Internet Access
- Internal Connections
- Basic maintenance of internal connections
Priority 1 services are funded first.
VoIP Phone Service E-Rate Eligibility
VoIP services, like ShoreTel Sky, can be eligible as Priority 1 – Telecommunications Services or Internet Access. More information about eligible service is available from the Universal Service Administrative Company.
Why Schools and Libraries Choose ShoreTel Sky
ShoreTel is an experienced E-Rate service provider. Our solution is designed to take the burden of managing and maintaining the phone system off the shoulders of our clients.
- Fully managed – ShoreTel Sky is a managed VoIP solution for schools and libraries. This means that we provide a painless implementation experience. Our team, not your internal resources, provide training and direct support to your employees. We manage all of the hardware and software required. With ShoreTel as your vendor, you can focus on your educational mission, we’ll take care of the phones.
- One vendor – ShoreTel becomes your phone system provider and telecommunications carrier. This means our education clients have only one monthly, predictable invoice to manage and one place to go for help and support.
- Customized experience – ShoreTel Sky helps schools and libraries stay connected to the community in the way that works best for them. Users can make calls from mobile phones (without giving out personal mobile numbers), auto attendants can be used to route callers to the most appropriate person and an easy to use web application is provided to let employees manage their personal call routing preferences.
- Exceptional quality and reliability – There is a myth that VoIP phone systems are unreliable and offer poor audio quality. But the fact is, not all cloud-based phone systems are created equally. Our solution offers secure, private connections to our state-of-the-art infrastructure, ensuring excellent performance and voice quality.