Bring 21st Century Library Services to all New Yorkers: Support E-rate

What is the E-rate Program?

On May 7, 1997, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Universal Service Order implementing the telecommunications Act of 1996. The Order, commonly referred to as "E-Rate" (Education Rate), ensures that all eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services. Up to $2.25 billion annually was authorized initially to provide eligible schools and libraries with E-Rate discounts. The amount actually allocated by Congress for 1998-99 was $1.9 billion, but the full $2.25 billion has been authorized each year beginning with 1999-2000.  As of FY 2016 the annual E-rate cap for both category one and category two services is $3.94 billion, indexed to inflation. During times of zero inflation or deflation, the funding cap will remain the same as the previous year.

Map of New York State

The E-rate Program is important to New York State. It ensures that all eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services.

How does the E-rate Program help New York State Libraries?

The E-Rate Program provides funding to eligible public libraries and public library systems, not-for-profit special libraries, and reference and research library resources systems. In Program Years (1-19), an average total of 366 libraries and library systems in New York State, with a yearly average of $10.5 million, received a grand total of $199.7 million from the E-Rate Program. New York's libraries have received almost $4 million, as of September 2017, for Program Year 20 (2017). This funding helps libraries purchase affordable advanced telecommunications services, Internet connectivity, and internal connections to meet the information needs of New Yorkers — critical infrastructure in today's information-rich world.

NEW YORK STATE LIBRARIES AND LIBRARY SYSTEMS: E-Rate Funding Received Years 1-20 (1998-2017)

chart shows e-rate funding years 1-20

Year 1 (1998): $16,668,342; Year 2 (1999): $12,147,620; Year 3 (2000): $15,441,197;
Year 4 (2001): $14,649,855;Year 5 (2002): $9,753,209; Year 6 (2003): $11,100,197;
Year 7 (2004): $9,882,076;  Year 8 (2005): $6,787,108;Year 9 (2006): $10,827,055;
Year 10 (2007): $9,004,452; Year 11 (2008): $10,449,973; Year 12 (2009): $10,995,306;
Year 13 (2010): $9,694,443; Year 14  (2011): $10,583,344; Year 15  (2012)[a]: $9,976,279;
Year 16  (2013)[b]: $9,422,650; Year 17  (2014)[c]: $8,959,684; Year 18  (2015)[d]: $12,508,500;
Year 19  (2016)[e]: $8,963,048; Year 20 (2016)[f]: $3,703,678

a) Waves TO DATE 1-125, September 25, 2017
b) Waves TO DATE 1-128, September 25, 2017
c) Waves TO DATE 1-105, September 25, 2017
d) Waves TO DATE 1-81, September 25, 2017
e) Waves TO DATE 1-63, September 25, 2017
f) Waves TO DATE 1-16, September 25, 2017

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Last Updated: October 6, 2017; for questions or comments contact Mary Ann Waltz