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Make Your E-Rate Process Easier With Softdocs

Hannah Goodwin

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What is E-Rate?
The E-Rate program (formally referred to as the Universal Service Program Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism) is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help schools and libraries afford their telecommunications connectivity. It is the government’s largest educational technology program.

E-Rate Modernization Order
In July, the FCC released an Order to reallocate where funding will be used to invest further into wireless technology. Every school district, regardless of size, location and social economic standing is eligible to receive E-Rate funding to improve their network infrastructure as long as they file appropriately starting in 2015.

While funding can only be used for network hardware, specific software supporting eligible components used to distribute high-speed broadband and licensing needed to provide internet access to district and student-owned devices, Softdocs is here to help you meet all the requirements of your agreement for retention necessary as a recipient of E-Rate funding.

Applicants are required to retain a number of different documents regarding their technology plans and the administration of universal service for a period of at least five years from the last date of service, but that doesn’t mean you have to start adding physical paper back into your district.

Take a look at your existing Business Office processes. A few tweaks and additional steps could be the answer to maintaining the requirements necessary for recordkeeping. During the pre-bidding process, store the mandatory technology plans and approval letters in Etrieve Content.

Create online applications using Etrieve Forms and Etrieve Flow to track and approve vendor applications during the Bidding process. Our system will automatically time stamp documents as they pass through workflow, providing the necessary audit trail, while also allowing you and other assigned users to view where documents are at any time in the workflow. Utilize Serve to print award letters and checks, as well as notify vendors of details, all while capturing copies of communication back to Etrieve Content.

E-Rate distributed funds can easily incorporate into your pre-existing purchase order processes, retaining an audit trail and access to all required documentation:

  • Service provider statement
  • Invoice payment
  • Bank statement or ACH transaction record
  • Beneficiary check

Ready to purge files that are no longer required? Simply search for documents based on their last date of service and delete.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.