With the education system in the U.S. facing a financial crisis, how can schools implement the required WiFi infrastructure to support their digital transformation goals? Since many K-12 schools have little to no budget for WiFi upgrades, it can be difficult to find an affordable solution.
As a former educator, I would have to buy my own school supplies for my classroom and that required working a second job. When schools lack funding for basic necessities, it can be hard investing in the technology needed for students in this digital world.
That’s where the government program called E-Rate, is available to help.
What is E-Rate?
E-Rate offers reduced rates or discounts on internet access (including WiFi), internal connections (including routers, switches, and wiring), maintenance, and managed WiFi services (MIBS) - a bundle of hardware, professional services, software, and managed network services. These discounts on internet access range from 20 to 90 percent at the federal level with most states offering programs to fund the remaining costs.
The program is directed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the management of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and was established in 1996.
E-Rate is Funding the Future
Now that we are entering Funding Year 2020, the academic year is looking a little brighter. With E-Rate's funding, students can access the internet resources to participate in self-directed learning initiatives. Teachers can also track and assess student progress and communicate more easily with students and parents.
No matter where a school is located or the income of the area, the E-Rate program is dedicated to closing the digital gap and has continued to pave the way for every classroom to be connected to WiFi by 2020.
Let’s look at when E-rate funding meets internet connectivity in the classrooms and how schools can benefit!
Learn more about the E-Rate program – and start applying for E-Rate today!