Internal Connections are components located at the school or library site that are necessary to transport information to classrooms, publicly accessible rooms of a library, and to eligible administrative areas or buildings. Internal Connections include connections within, between or among instructional buildings that comprise a school campus or library branch, but do not include services that extend beyond the school campus or library branch. Components at the applicant site are eligible only if they are an essential element in the transmission of information within the school or library. The components must be necessary to transport information all the way to individual classrooms or public areas of a library.

The “Two-in-Five Rule” applies to Internal Connections. The “Two-in-Five Rule” indicates that each eligible school or library may obtain support for Internal Connections funding requests every two out of five years. This limitation applies only to Internal Connections and not to requests appropriately categorized as Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.

E-RateForSchools maintains a broad and deep set of skills to help schools obtain and implement technologies that are eligible for E-Rate subsidy as Internal Connections. This includes an extensive list of equipment and software. A list of the most common items requested follows:

Data Distribution
including Link Balancer, Voice over IP, Video over IP, Access Points, Hubs, Multiplexers, and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) controllers. All these components may be part of a wireless local area network.

Data Protection
including Firewalls, Proxy Servers, Tape Backup for eligible servers, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)/Battery Backup that protects eligible equipment.

Interfaces, Gateways, and Antennas
Bridges, Cable Modem, Channel Service Unit, CSU, Data Service Unit, Gateway, Network Interface Card (NIC), Media Converter, Voice Fax Network Module, antennas used for internet or telephony connectivity, antenna mast that support eligible Internal Connections (large antenna towers are not included).

Operating System (OS) software and email software that is server based.

Servers, Firewalls, and Security
Dynamic Host Configuration Servers, Domain Name Servers, Email Servers, Firewall Servers, and Proxy Servers.

VoIP Telephony
Private Branch Exchange (PBX), Key Service Unit (KSU), Voice Mail, Wireless, VoIP telephony equipment, Automatic Route Server (ARS), E911, Voice Compression Module, Voice Interface Card, and Switchboard / Attendant console.