Technology that transforms K-12 learning

Helping you enrich 21st-century learning with E-rate services

Dwindling budgets and increasing regulations present a challenge to many schools in acquiring the technologies needed to fuel today’s digital learning environments. The E-rate program is an invaluable resource for K-12 schools and libraries to obtain affordable access to advanced telecommunication services, and Spectrum Enterprise offers a suite of E-rate-eligible services—and local, dedicated education representatives—to help you navigate the program and attain a rich and secure digital infrastructure.

What is the E-rate program?

As part of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the E-rate program was created to provide eligible K-12 schools and libraries with discounts of up to 90 percent on select telecommunications services to meet their growing connectivity needs. This federal program is administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

How we can help

Spectrum Enterprise provides a complete solution for the K-12 marketplace, with services that enable students and educators to access digital learning via a secure infrastructure, whether it’s using instructional course materials, interacting with classmates or taking exams on a mobile device.

We became a compliant E-rate service provider in 1998, and we take pride in being one of the largest E-rate service providers today, working with hundreds of school districts nationwide and delivering service to more than 10,000 locations and millions of students.

Our team of Education professionals can help you access information to achieve maximum E-rate funding. We stay up to date on the latest FCC provisions and rules, and can help you navigate the E-rate application process to transition your learning environment to the ever-changing digital world. For assistance, contact a local, dedicated Spectrum Enterprise Education representative.



498 ID/SPIN: Charter Communications Operating, LLC 143050436

E-rate eligible services*

Category 1

(includes services needed to support broadband connectivity to schools and libraries)

Category 2

(includes broadband internal connections within schools and libraries: managed internal broadband services or managed WiFi)

*Eligibility of products and services for E-rate funding is determined by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and/or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Frequently Asked Questions

To be eligible for discounts from the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD), you must meet the statutory definitions for a school or a library. If you are not sure of your eligibility status, please contact your higher-level administrative agency (state department of education, state library or other organization) for assistance. More information on eligibility requirements can be found here.

The California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) provides discounts on select telecommunications services to qualifying California schools, libraries, hospitals, community colleges and other nonprofits. Your E-rate discount can work in conjunction with a CTF discount. To learn more about eligibility and the application process for CTF, please visit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website.

Discounts on eligible services for your schools and libraries depend on economic need as determined by the National School Lunch Program as well as the school (or library) location. For more information click here.

Once your organization is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), you are required to notify your service provider before discounts can be applied to your bill. (You will receive your approval notification about CTF funding via email.) You can notify Spectrum Enterprise by following the steps below:

  1. Complete the Spectrum Enterprise discount election form:

  2. SPI BEAR Discount Election Form CHTR.pdf

  3. Email the form and forward a copy of the CPUC approval email to

  4. CTF Letter Example.pdf

If applicable, E-rate discounts are applied first. CTF discounts are applied to the remaining undiscounted portion (after E-rate discounts) of the eligible service charges.

All of the forms, deadlines and supporting documentation are discussed in detail on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website. You can get specific information on how to complete individual forms by reviewing form user guides and by watching video tutorials. In addition, the reference area of the website contains information on deadlines, sample letters, frequently asked questions and other useful documents. The Client Service Bureau is also available to answer questions by telephone, at 888-203-8100, during normal business hours. USAC has provided a detailed chart with links to forms and their descriptions here. In addition, you can view a helpful flowchart about the E-rate application process here.

Once the USAC issues your funding commitment decision letter (FCDL) and you have submitted Form 486,* you will choose your preferred invoicing method: BEAR or SPI, outlined below.

BEAR – You pay for service charges in full and receive the E-rate reimbursement directly from USAC.

SPI – Spectrum Enterprise provides applicable E-rate discounts on your invoices, and you pay the remaining balance on the nondiscounted portion.

* You will file Form 486 after your service starts or your product is delivered. On the form, you will identify the start date for services after the USAC has issued the FCDL. You must also certify that you are compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Technological Plan Certification Form (TPCF). This form must be filed before funds can be disbursed. Services do not begin until July 1. Complete Form 486.

SPI Process

  1. Complete the Spectrum Enterprise discount election form below, and email it to our E-rate/CTF invoicing organization at

  2. SPI BEAR Discount Election Form CHTR.pdf

  3. You will receive a case number for tracking purposes and will be contacted by our invoicing organization within one week.

  4. Discounts will be applied retroactively, backdated to your July invoice, and will be reflected in the following invoice once Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) has been completed by USAC and FCC Form 486 has been certified for each Funding Request Number (FRN).

  5. Per FCC order 97-157, you are required to pay the undiscounted portion (charges after E-rate discounts) to your service provider in order to qualify for the SPI method. You are welcome to pay your invoice based on your projected discounts until USAC completes the FCDL.

BEAR Process

Applicants will file BEAR Forms online for all funding years without the requirement for service provider review and approval. Before applicants can be reimbursed by filing an FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form), the following must occur:

  • The applicant has certified – and USAC has successfully processed – an FCC Form 486

  • The applicant has certified – and USAC has successfully processed – an FCC Form 498; for USAC to process direct payments, USAC must have on file an approved FCC Form 498 certified by the billed entity

  • The applicant must have a Personal Identification Number (PIN)

  • USAC will pay applicants directly for all funding years; the billed entity must still file an FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form) for USAC to process payments

  • Service providers will no longer approve BEAR Forms

  • BEAR Forms will no longer be filed on paper

  • Spectrum Enterprise utilizes one company SPIN: Charter Communications Operating, LLC 143050436

To learn more, please visit the USAC Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) resources listed below.

We are happy to assist you in obtaining your eligible E-rate program discounts, and in transforming your schools and libraries into secure, rich digital learning environments.