The federal E-rate program allows education-based institutions to obtain funding for key technology purchases for telecommunications and Internet access. Each year, approximately $4B is available for eligible products and services; however, the application process and compliance requirements can be time consuming and challenging. Solix provides expert consulting support to assist clients in maximizing funding awards while maintaining compliance with program requirements. The Solix team has processed and reviewed E-rate applications since 1998. As a result, we fully understand the support you need to successfully navigate the complex processes and requirements. We can complete and submit all required forms and applications, manage multi-year funding cycles, provide status updates, expedite invoicing, and file appeals. The following highlight the services we offer to assist in your E-rate application, support and compliance processes.
Rapid Assessment Tool
With just a few key inputs, Solix can help determine whether you may be able to apply for E-rate funding. Whether you have never applied for E-rate funds or you want to identify additional potential funding, contact us for a Rapid Assessment. We will quickly provide you with:
- An estimated amount of funding for which you may qualify
- What to expect if you’ve never applied for funding
- Specific details of how working with Solix can help you maximize funding opportunities.
Maximizer Health Check & Report Card
Our Maximizer Health Check lets you know how well you are taking advantage of funding, discount, and reimbursement programs that maximize your impact and ability to financially support your mission. Whether you take advantage of the E-rate program, Medicaid reimbursement programs, or other funding support, Solix can assess your level of compliance and audit preparedness and provides concrete recommendations to maximize continued funding. Our “Maximizer Report Card” shows your performance and continued progress in key benchmark areas. Our Maximizer Health Check will help you understand where you are relative to others including answers to the following questions and more:
- Are you getting all the funds you are eligible for?
- Are you leaving money on the table?
- Are your 470 procurement processes compliant?
- How well prepared are you if selected for an audit?
- How organized & accessible is your documentation?
- Are you invoicing for all of the services?
- Do you have internal processes in place to support the complex E-rate filing program?
- Do you know how much you have left in your Cat 2 budget?
- Do you have your plans submitted to use the funds?
- Do you know when the critical deadlines are for submissions, appeals, etc.?
- Are you meeting your deadlines?
- Are you taking advantage of matching funds support? (state specific)
- How are the fees charged by service providers compared to your peers?
- How is your funding levels compared to your peers?
Application Preparation & Submission Services
Our team will leverage its 20 years of experience supporting the E-rate program, including reviewing hundreds of thousands of applications, developing operating procedures, handling appeals, and processing invoices to help you through the preparation and submission process efficiently and compliantly. We will help you avoid common submission errors that often lead to funding reductions or delays.
- Prepare and submit required forms, thereby simplifying the complex application system and requirements.
- Track and send reminders for all the phases of the E-rate funding cycle so you never miss a step.
- Assist in the RFP/competitive bidding processes to ensure compliance – Facilitate pre-bid vendor walk-throughs – Review your Request for Proposal (if applicable) to ensure program compliance – Provide sample FCC compliant vendor evaluation sheets – Assist with filing the FCC Form 470 filing to start the bidding process – Manage a fair and open, competitive bidding process; respond to service provider questions; document and store all relevant bidding process documentation – Ensure contracts or agreements are approved and signed in time for the filing of the services
- Assist with the filing the FCC Form 471 – Determine your Category 2 budget – Respond to any inquiries during the programmatic review of your FCC Form 471
- Post Commitment Support – Form 486s, Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) changes, Service Substitutions, Commitment Cancellations/Reductions (Form 500s)
- Appeals Support (FCC & USAC) for funding denials and commitments
- Invoicing Support (Form 472s)
- Audit Support – Prepare documentation, meet with auditors, support follow-ups
- Electronic Document Storage – We can digitize and securely store your required documentation to satisfy program retention mandates.
Statewide Support Services
Solix has worked with all 50 states and the State E-rate Coordinators and has gained an in depth understanding of your specific needs and challenges. Our services in support of State E-rate Coordinators include:
- File, monitor and support your statewide consortia applications
- Navigate the challenging E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) system including monitoring notifications, deadlines and requests for information
- Coordinate with Departments of Education to provide state level support and reporting
- Represent state interests in alliances, industry forums and regulatory initiatives
- Monitor and analyze FCC actions on E-rate issues
- Provide Help Desk support for schools, libraries, and districts
E-rate Subscription Services
Staying up to date on E-rate program and procedural requirements can be very challenging. We will assist you in tracking and understanding changing rules and regulations, filing deadlines, and program compliance. Our subscription services include:
- Advanced Program Analytics
- Document Management & Storage
- Automated program reminders
- FCC Updates
- Annual Benefit Reviews
- Compliance Checks
- Customer Care
- Tips / Tools
- Funding data search tools by SPIN, BEN, 471, FRN, or CRN
- Wave Analysis Tools
- D-U-N-S Lookups
- News, Blogs, Newsletters