Learn About ErateSync for E-rate & ECF Records Compliance
ErateSync is a digital records management system that aligns with FCC E-rate and Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Documentation Retention Guidelines. Knowing that online documentation is more than uploads and downloads, ErateSync was designed to assist entities with the annual storage, organization, and management of all E-rate files – proposals, bid evaluations, contracts, invoicing, and more.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that program participants retain all documents necessary to demonstrate compliance with the statute and Commission rules regarding the application for, receipt, and delivery of services receiving schools and libraries discounts.
Schools, libraries, and service providers are subject to both random audits and other audits (or investigations) to examine an entity’s compliance with the statute and the Commission’s rules initiated at the Commission's discretion, USAC, or another authorized governmental oversight body.
Documents are stored on ErateSync using industry-standard levels of security. Here at ErateSync, we take many precautions to make sure every document on our platform is highly secured and highly encrypted.
All ErateSync documents and files are stored on a cloud infrastructure designed for the highest data privacy levels. This allows us to restrict access to documents, keep the data private, share it for reading, or share it for reading and writing.
All requests that happen on ErateSync are encrypted from browser level to server level through the HTTPS protocol, which allows safe transfer of files and private user credentials from the client-side to the server-side. Aside from this, all internal API consumption also happens on HTTPS protocol, ensuring that all requests are completed successfully without being sniffed.
Furthermore, the ErateSync software is built with industry best practices from the client-side to the server-side, protecting the system from external threats. We also considered the internal threats and high quality and maintainable application code, which guarantees the addition of other features in the future to satisfy our clients’ needs.
ErateSync uses an encrypted file system to encrypt all your data and metadata at rest using an industry-standard AES-256 encryption algorithm. In the extremely unlikely event of a data breach and access to documents is obtained, the content of your documents remains highly secured. Also, all private user credentials are hashed with a one-way hash that even we cannot decode.
We take these steps and other steps to minimize risks associated with common security breaches and limit any consequences.
All subscription plans provide as much space as you need for storing your critical E-rate data.
You do not need to purchase ErateDocX subscriptions for every user in your organization. Support for all users is included in the purchase of an ErateDocX subscription. The account Administrator can add additional users.
Payments can be made by check or purchase order by filling out a short form. Credit card payments can be made directly on the site.
On the Dashboard, you will find “Manage Users” in the options panel at the top of the page. You can add new users and manage existing users from there.
There are 3 types of user accounts:
- Admin – The Admin account type can add/remove users and upload/download files. The Admin user is the only user that can delete files.
- Contributor – Can upload and download files.
- Viewer – Can view files and generate reports.
Accounts for multiple organizations or consortiums can be subscribed to by completing the Custom Request Form. An ErateDocX team member will contact you to get information to set up those accounts for you manually. Payment using a Purchase Order, Check, or Credit Card can be made by one organization.
You may download a single Funding Year (FY) by clicking on the download button on that particular FY card.
You will find “Upload Files” in the options panel at the top of the page on the dashboard. You may upload multiple files by selecting the Funding Year and Category for which you want to upload files.
The Funding Year Documents Report details all available documents uploaded for each E-rate Category by Funding Year. Categories that have no documents uploaded will have “No documents uploaded” displayed instead.
Most certainly*, ErateDocX is a tool for full management of critical E-rate documents for ALL relevant stakeholders – IT Managers, CFO, Library Directors, administrators, and consultants – on one platform. However, adherence to the rules of the E-rate program is the responsibility of each organization.
Not only should E-rate program participants retain all documents necessary to demonstrate compliance with the statute and Commission rules regarding the application for, receipt, and delivery of services; documents should also be maintained to:
- To facilitate improved information collection during the auditing process
- To enhance the ability of auditors to determine whether applicants and service providers have complied with program rules.
- Because specific recordkeeping requirements prevent waste, fraud, and abuse
- To protect applicants and/or service providers
* ErateDocX is intended solely to store, organize, and manage E-rate documents/forms as provided by our customers. We assume no guarantee for accuracy or completeness of documents/forms provided.
Beginning November 20, 2014, USAC and the FCC required that records be maintained for at least ten years after LATTER of the last day of the applicable funding year OR the service delivery deadline for the funding request.
Taking into consideration that the service delivery deadline is different for Category 1 Services than it is for Category 2 Services:
CATEGORY 1 (Internet Access) funded in Funding Year (FY) 2015 (July 1,2015 – June 30,2016), both the applicant and the service provider must retain all records on this transaction until at least June 30, 2026.
CATEGORY 2 (Installation of Equipment) funded in FY 2015 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016), the last day to deliver service is September 30. That means Category 2 equipment records should be maintained by both the applicant and the service provider until September 30, 2026.
For documents collected between July 1, 2004, and November 20, 2014, a five (5) year rule was affected.
You should retain all documents related to the purchase and delivery of E-rate eligible services and equipment. This includes but is not limited to:
- Purchase requisitions/purchase orders
- Packing slips
- Serial numbers
- Delivery and installation records showing where equipment was delivered and installed or where services were provided
- All schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the E-Rate Program are also eligible to request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
- NOTE: Schools and libraries do not need to be currently participating in E-rate to apply for ECF funding.
- The following entities are not eligible to receive support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund: (1) for-profit schools and libraries (2) schools and libraries with endowments in excess of $50,000,000 (3) libraries whose budgets are not completely separate from any schools; and (4) library or library consortium that are not eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
Support is eligible for students, school staff, and library patrons who otherwise did not or do not have connected devices or broadband connectivity.