E-Rate 2021 Explained: Setting Up Schools for Success Recap (5:00)

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Managed Services

There will be changes occurring in the E-Rate 2021 cycle. These changes will provide school systems an opportunity to update connectivity at previously neglected school sites. School districts will receive one budget to use between 2021-25 and can use the money on the facilities they choose but the equipment being refreshed must be at least 5 years old (if it was previously purchased with E-Rate). In this webinar we had two guest speakers discuss how you can use your funds and the updates that have occurred.


Our first guest speaker, Rachel Soloway, spoke to the advantages of using Cisco Meraki products in your E-Rate spending. Meraki is the industry leader in cyber and physical security. Meraki features such as scale as you go make it simple to expand your network infrastructure. Additionally, when you chose Cisco Meraki, you’re able to leverage the power of Cisco Talos security. To learn more about Meraki products, check out the Cisco Meraki website.


Second, we had Andree Miller, from the Cisco E-Rate team. She is a public funding advisor that serves the Illinois area. Some changes she shared are:

  • $8B in funding available, which means more money for schools and libraries.
  • The 5-year budget cycle is reset, meaning we are entering a new cycle for funding.
  • Budget allocation is based on square footage, making smaller schools eligible for funding.

The changes to the 2021 cycle have allowed schools to adjust their plans to better prepare for hybrid learning environments.


Our speakers from Peters & Associates, Adam Gassensmith and Tim Hohman spoke about how we can help our customers plan and use their funds. Our managed services provide 24×7 support and patching, which will help customers to optimize the security and performance of their network devices.

Next, Tim spoke about our E-Rate Assessment. Our engineers conduct vulnerability scans and assess your firewall, routers & switches, and access points. This assessment helps our customers to understand where their funding dollars should flow to first. If this is something you are interested in, please reach out to us at info@peters.com or call us at 630.832.0075

Download the slide decks here:

  1. Download the Meraki presentation here.
  2. Download the Cisco presentation here.
  3. Download the Peters presentation here.

Watch the full recording below: