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Request for Information : E-rate demand

  • 1.  Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-11-2018 14:56

    CoSN is in the process of gathering information on E-rate and why E-rate demand is not approaching the levels anticipated in the overall cap.

    If you have insight about why this might be the case, please send a description of the issues confronted  to me.  CoSN will be sharing this information with FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel .  Protecting the E-rate program and ensuring its vitality is one of the highest priorities on CoSN policy agenda

    Thanks so much 



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    Irene Spero
    Chief External Relations Officer
    Consortium for School Networking
    Washington DC
    (202) 861-2676
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  • 2.  RE: Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-12-2018 06:52
    Our Head of School is reluctant to participate because we are an independent school and we don't want to be accountable for Federal regulations because this can be conceived of us Federal funding.  Although this is not a grant other Schools have been made to meet federal guidelines for bathrooms,  for example based on the fact that they received these funds. This happened to an independent school and our Head found the article.

    Once I came on board I convinced him otherwise.  I thought this might be valuable to share because this money is frequently confused with being a government grant NOT a reimbursement of expenses.  Our accountants even went so far to have us call this grant money.  The messaging around this is very confusing.

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    Lisa Fusco
    Director
    French American School of NY
    Mamaroneck NY
    (914) 250-0500
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  • 3.  RE: Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-12-2018 09:10
    We do not always maximize our available budget due to trying to simplify our application and/or record keeping.

    We will omit items from the portion of the projected submitted to USAC so we do not have to go through the cost-allocation process. Also, there is usually a significant portion that is not submitted to USAC due to the budget not being sufficient. They do not have a way to capture all of our "Cash" purchases related to the program so there is a large part of the picture they do not have any data or visibility on. We tend to spend the same amount (or more) as our undiscounted portion on costs not submitted to USAC.

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    Freddie Cox
    IT Infrastructure Manager
    Knox County Schools
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  • 4.  RE: Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-15-2018 08:46
    We maximize the usage of ERate to defer funds for the wide area network, and the state run ISP. It has enabled our district to expand capacity by reducing our overhead.
    We receive 40% reimbursement, so we were not eligible under the "old" rules to received priority 2 funding. The changes put into place 5 years ago help, but came after a lot of our work was completed. We have recently used it to update LAN switches and wireless connectivity. I find the calculation process cumbersome, but it's better than not having access to those funds.
    The new online portal, despite its initial difficulties and confusion is far better than the old paper method, and the old online system. I do wonder why the requirement of retaining records is ten years, when they have everything electronically submitted. Perhaps just uploading anything additionally required could divest us of that requirement as it seems dated.

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    Nancy Byrnes
    Director of Information Technology
    Fairfield Public Schools
    Fairfield CT
    (203) 255-8367
    IT Manager
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  • 5.  RE: Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-17-2018 12:10
    Thanks  to all of our members who have provided information and comments on E-rate demand.
    We appreciate your efforts and will keep you informed about the policy discussions here ins Washington, DC at the FCC.
    Let me know if there are any questions.

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    Irene Spero
    Chief External Relations Officer
    Consortium for School Networking
    Washington DC
    (202) 861-2676
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  • 6.  RE: Request for Information : E-rate demand

    Posted 10-15-2018 16:25
    I can only speak from a Pennsylvania perspective (all prices are Pre-E-Rate).  Considering Cat-1, over the past decade we have leveraged E-rate as much as possible.  In 2007, our consortium was paying roughly $2,795 per month for a 100mb connection for internet.  Through state grants and competitive bidding, these costs have dropped dramatically.  Today, we are seeing prices such as $700 for a 10gb transport with 1gb of internet.  Across the commonwealth there are similar savings.  If you consider there are 500 districts in PA, this adds up to a significant reduction in requested fund.

    The FCC also needs to remember they have changed the eligible services list over time as well.  The elimination of telephone costs contributed to the the reduction in requests from everyone one of our consortium members. Voice is still a very large cost to many districts.  Eliminating analog and aging digital technologies makes sense.  However, supporting newer technologies such as VOIP and SIP would be beneficial.

    An area the FCC needs to consider is making redundant services eligible.  Our consortium members continue to put all their ducks in one basket by adding additional bandwidth to their current connections.  Those that can get the 10gb connections can easily add additional bandwidth at sub 50 cent per meg costs.  From a purely price standpoint, this is awesome.  However, the conversation needs to refocus on instruction in the event of a failure.  If the internet goes down to our schools, they either have no redundant connection of they have an inferior connection designed to accommodate their business office.  With more services being cloud oriented, a service disruption can significantly alter instructional practices for the duration of the outage.  Although prices are following, to absorb the entire cost of a technically equivalent connection is not possible for most districts.  E-Rate support is needed.  According to Funds for Learning, "61% OF RESPONDENTS IN 2018 SAID THEY WOULD SEEK DUAL INTERNET CONNECTIONS IF FCC ALLOWED IT."  At some point, I strongly believe this number would approach 100% if funding was available.


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    Vince Humes
    Director Innovative Technology Solutions
    Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5
    Edinboro PA
    (814) 734-8390
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