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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.505


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE
Subpart F—Universal Service Support for Schools and Libraries


§54.505   Discounts.

(a) Discount mechanism. Discounts for eligible schools and libraries shall be set as a percentage discount from the pre-discount price.

(b) Discount percentages. Except as provided in paragraph (f), the discounts available to eligible schools and libraries shall range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the pre-discount price for all eligible services provided by eligible providers, as defined in this subpart. The discounts available to a particular school, library, or consortium of only such entities shall be determined by indicators of poverty and high cost.

(1) For schools and school districts, the level of poverty shall be based on the percentage of the student enrollment that is eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the national school lunch program or a federally-approved alternative mechanism. School districts shall divide the total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program within the school district by the total number of students within the school district to arrive at a percentage of students eligible. This percentage rate shall then be applied to the discount matrix to set a discount rate for the supported services purchased by all schools within the school district. Independent charter schools, private schools, and other eligible educational facilities should calculate a single discount percentage rate based on the total number of students under the control of the central administrative agency.

(2) For libraries and library consortia, the level of poverty shall be based on the percentage of the student enrollment that is eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the national school lunch program or a federally-approved alternative mechanism in the public school district in which they are located and should use that school district's level of poverty to determine their discount rate when applying as a library system or as an individual library outlet within that system. When a library system has branches or outlets in more than one public school district, that library system and all library outlets within that system should use the address of the central outlet or main administrative office to determine which school district the library system is in, and should use that school district's level of poverty to determine its discount rate when applying as a library system or as one or more library outlets. If the library is not in a school district, then its level of poverty shall be based on an average of the percentage of students eligible for the national school lunch program in each of the school districts that children living in the library's location attend.

(3) The Administrator shall classify schools and libraries as “urban” or “rural” according to the following designations.

(i) The Administrator shall designate a school or library as “urban” if the school or library is located in an urbanized area or urban cluster area with a population equal to or greater than 25,000, as determined by the most recent rural-urban classification by the Bureau of the Census. The Administrator shall designate all other schools and libraries as “rural.”

(4) School districts, library systems, or other billed entities shall calculate discounts on supported services described in §54.502(a) that are shared by two or more of their schools, libraries, or consortia members by calculating an average discount based on the applicable district-wide discounts of all member schools and libraries. School districts, library systems, or other billed entities shall ensure that, for each year in which an eligible school or library is included for purposes of calculating the aggregate discount rate, that eligible school or library shall receive a proportionate share of the shared services for which support is sought. For schools, the discount shall be a simple average of the applicable district-wide percentage for all schools sharing a portion of the shared services. For libraries, the average discount shall be a simple average of the applicable discounts to which the libraries sharing a portion of the shared services are entitled.

(c) Matrices. Except as provided in paragraphs (d) and (f) of this section, the Administrator shall use the following matrices to set discount rates to be applied to eligible category one and category two services purchased by eligible schools, school districts, libraries, or consortia based on the institution's level of poverty and location in an “urban” or “rural” area.

   Category one schools and libraries discount matrixCategory two schools and libraries discount matrix
   Discount levelDiscount level
% of students eligible for national school lunch programUrban
discount
Rural
discount
Urban
discount
Rural
discount
<120252025
1-1940504050
20-3450605060
35-4960706070
50-7480808080
75-10090908585

(d) Voice Services. Discounts for category one voice services shall be reduced by 20 percentage points off applicant discount percentage rates for each funding year starting in funding year 2015, and reduced by an additional 20 percentage points off applicant discount percentage rates each subsequent funding year.

(e) Interstate and intrastate services. Federal universal service support for schools and libraries shall be provided for both interstate and intrastate services.

(1) Federal universal service support under this subpart for eligible schools and libraries in a state is contingent upon the establishment of intrastate discounts no less than the discounts applicable for interstate services.

(2) A state may, however, secure a temporary waiver of this latter requirement based on unusually compelling conditions.

(f) Additional discounts for State matching funds for special construction. Federal universal service discounts shall be based on the price of a service prior to the application of any state-provided support for schools or libraries. When a governmental entity described below provides funding for special construction charges for networks that meet the long-term connectivity targets for the schools and libraries universal service support program, the Administrator shall match the governmental entity's contribution as provided for below:

(1) All E-rate applicants. When a State government provides funding for special construction charges for a broadband connection to a school or library the Administrator shall match the State's contribution on a one-dollar-to-one-dollar basis up to an additional 10 percent discount, provided however that the total support from federal universal service and the State may not exceed 100 percent.

(2) Tribal schools. When a State government, Tribal government, or federal agency provides funding for special construction charges for a broadband connection to a school operated by the Bureau of Indian Education or by a Tribal government, the Administrator shall match the governmental entity's contribution on a one-dollar-to-one-dollar basis up to an additional 10 percent discount, provided however that the total support from federal universal service and the governmental entity may not exceed 100 percent.

(3) Tribal libraries. When a State government, Tribal government, or federal agency provides funding for special construction charges for a broadband connection to a library operated by Tribal governments, the Administrator shall match the governmental entity's contribution on a one-dollar-to-one-dollar basis up to an additional 10 percent discount, provided however that the total support from federal universal service and the governmental entity may not exceed 100 percent.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 41304, Aug. 1, 1997; 63 FR 2130, Jan. 13, 1998; 63 FR 70572, Dec. 21, 1998; 75 FR 75414, Dec. 3, 2010; 79 FR 49201, Aug. 19, 2014; 79 FR 68634, Nov. 18, 2014; 80 FR 5989, Feb. 4, 2015]

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