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Empowering Students and Educators with E-Rate Funding

Sep 2023
Network Infrastructure
A teacher uses technology tools to show students information in a classroom

In today’s digital age, equal access to reliable internet is vital for equitable education. E-Rate funding is key to making that equitable education a reality.

E-Rate helps schools and libraries pay for network technologies and physical infrastructure so they can provide all students with a digital learning environment. At Panduit, we collaborate with schools to deliver network infrastructure solutions – which can be covered by E-Rate funding – that are tailored to the unique needs of education.

What is E-Rate funding?

E-Rate funding is a U.S. program that annually provides funds to schools and libraries to improve their internet and technology. It offers significant savings on network infrastructure solutions and services. The process to receive E-Rate funding involves several steps:

  • Determine the specific products or product specifications that are needed and that meet E-Rate qualifications
  • Apply for funding
  • Application is reviewed
  • Funding is either approved or denied and discount percentage is given
    • Discounts range between 20-90%; higher discounts mean more of the project is covered by E-Rate funding
    • Funding determinations are impacted by financial need within the district; the percentage of students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) helps determine the discount level
  • Service is performed by the contractor and products are installed
  • This process is then repeated the next year, if full funding wasn’t approved for an ongoing project, or if there are new needs

Applying for E-Rate funding can be a complex process; however, the effort is worth it as E-Rate funding can be a crucial stepping point in enabling students to receive the same enhanced learning benefits offered digitally.

How Panduit Can Help You Receive E-Rate Funding

Panduit provides network infrastructure solutions aligned with available funding for schools and libraries. We understand the complexity of obtaining E-Rate funds and by working with us early in the E-Rate process we can provide expertise in optimizing your project specifications to maximize funding. Panduit reps will work 1:1 with school IT managers, administrators, or E-Rate consultants to scope a qualifying project and help develop a specification for the work.

Benefits of collaborating with Panduit on an E-Rate project:

  • Ecosystem of licensed and qualified contractors that specialize in E-Rate work
  • Local distributors with products available when and where they are needed
  • Competitive pricing
  • Strong reputation and relationships with institutions

Strengthen Your School Network with the Right Infrastructure

With E-Rate assistance, you can upgrade the network infrastructure in your schools, ensuring reliable and high-speed connectivity for students and educators alike at a discounted cost. Our aligned product offering:

  • Copper Cabling Systems: Innovative copper cabling solutions support the most common IP applications in classrooms and common areas: wireless connectivity for student and faculty devices, security cameras, AV systems, instructional tools, and more; a robust Category 6A system efficiently delivers bandwidth and Power over Ethernet to position your network for future growth
  • Fiber Cabling Systems: Our vast selection of fiber optic cables, connectors, cassettes, enclosures, patch cords, cable assemblies, and more support high bandwidth – critical for providing reliable data connections both inside the classroom and out
  • Copper Connectivity Solutions: Connect security cameras, access points, and other devices anywhere in your school buildings with field terminable solutions that make connections easy
  • Cabinets and Racks: Our comprehensive offerings of cabinets, thermal management, racks, and enclosures are ideal for data centers, telecommunications equipment rooms, and enterprise cabling applications and help to reduce energy consumption, enhance network reliability, and optimize space
  • Cable Management Solutions: Maximize the space in your telecommunications rooms with innovative cable management solutions that help you squeeze the latest learning or security system into the same footprint, while protecting connections to enhance network reliability
  • Physical Security Solutions: The first line of defense against cyber threats is protecting your physical connections; whether in a telecommunications closet or on student-accessible equipment in a classroom, lab, or library, lock-in and block-out devices help avoid downtime and unauthorized access to systems, while lockable handles on network cabinets and enclosures prevent access except by authorized users with a key, badge, or code

Learn more about infrastructure solutions for your schools in our brochure.

Panduit is committed to helping you leverage E-Rate funding effectively. Through our collaborative approach we will work together to determine a customized network infrastructure that aligns with E-Rate guidelines and maximizes the impact of the funding. With our expertise, consultative approach, and dedication to quality, Panduit enables educational institutions to create connected learning environments that foster innovation, collaboration, and student success.

Want to learn more about Panduit solutions for schools? Visit


Vincent Lullo

Vincent joined Panduit during the summer of 2022 as an intern for the Business Development group, moving to a full-time analyst at the beginning of 2023. Currently, he is helping manage the vertical markets of Healthcare, U.S. Federal Government, and Education for the Enterprise business unit. He is responsible for driving growth in those vertical markets, identifying market gaps, strategic planning, and promoting collaboration.