e-Rate & K–12 Education

The technology needs of schools and libraries are evolving rapidly with the introduction of new, bandwidth intensive applications. Today’s teachers and administrators are leveraging technologies to enhance communication, learning, and research, to the benefit of students, parents, faculty and administrators. However, these valuable tools demand both high capacity and secure, distributed network capabilities delivered at competitive pricing – particularly as traditional funding sources are strained.

The Federal Communications Committee’s E-Rate program is an opportune way for schools and libraries to harness the power of the latest information technologies to the benefit of their community. FirstLight Fiber participates in the E-Rate program, and has helped several regional schools and libraries to fulfill their mission.

FirstLight provides a comprehensive portfolio of secure, scalable telecommunications solutions and knowledgeable staff experienced in working with K-12 districts and libraries to support advanced voice/VoIP, multicast, video and distance learning applications for single and multi-site institutions.

What is the E-Rate Program?

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 established the E-Rate program in an effort to aid U.S. schools and libraries in promoting technology and obtaining affordable telecommunication and Internet services. Awarded annually since 1998, the program’s funds are divided into two funding levels – Priority One and Priority Two Services.

Through the E-Rate program, FirstLight Fiber provides Priority One services – which are recurring telecommunications and Internet access solutions.

FirstLight Fiber-Based Solutions for Education


  • Cost Effective –K-12 schools and libraries are eligible to use E-Rate funds to offset the cost of FirstLight’s array of telecommunications and Internet access services.
  • Reliable: Primary and Secondary DNS service to guarantee high availability for schools’ internet resources; service is delivered over FirstLight’s own fiber optic network, to ensure high uptime and performance.
  • Scalable: Fiber-based solutions enable scalability from rates of 5 Megabit to 100 Gigabit
  • Optimal performance: Network performance is enhanced with high capacity, dedicated bandwidth, backed by strong Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for performance, availability and restoration timeframes
  • Premier Customer Service: 24x7x365 network monitoring from FirstLight’s Network Operations Center

Contact us today to learn how FirstLight’s solutions can enhance the K-12 learning experience, or request information from our sales team.

FirstLight is proud to support WNYT’s STEM Initiative! Watch Our Video:

“When the need for bandwidth increased, FirstLight was the communications provider best suited to meet our needs, and more importantly, our budget.”— Holderness School

“FirstLight has been extremely helpful during our transition, and I continue to be impressed with the service and professionalism of its team.”— Holderness School

“Each day, our schools require more and more bandwidth, and we needed a network solution that could keep pace. ”— Laconia School District

“FirstLight stood out among all of the potential vendors we reviewed for enabling the bandwidth expansions that we will inevitably need down the road, while also offering the high quality, localized customer service and support we need today”— Laconia School District

“We serve approximately 2,000 students and part of ensuring their educational success is having reliable, high speed Internet from a provider upon whom we can rely and trust”— Laconia School District

“FirstLight’s guaranteed uptime and services help our students to achieve”— Shenendehowa Central School District

“We chose FirstLight due to its strong network reliability and knowledgeable local crews who can quickly respond in the event of an issue.”— Shenendehowa Central School District

“FirstLight is focused on its customers”— Shenendehowa Central School District

“Until FirstLight extended their fiber network to our campus, we had only one viable option for Internet service. Now we have more bandwidth, increased reliability and a partnership with FirstLight to keep our costs down and our student, faculty and staff satisfaction up!”— SUNY Oneonta

“Our network connections should never stand in the way of learning, and FirstLight’s services have allowed us to see that vision through, across all buildings within our district.”— Greater Johnstown School District