Magazine article Technology & Learning

What the Experts Say

Magazine article Technology & Learning

What the Experts Say

Article excerpt

Everybody talks about it, but not many people actually know what it means. We pulled the best parts from a recent online conversation, sponsored by CoSN (Consortium for School Networking), that featured the best experts to give you this E-Rate 2.0 cheat sheet For the full Webinar, visittinyurl.com/k6gydpy

WHAT WAS LACKING WITH THE ORIGINAL E-RATE?

Patrick Halley, Associate Chief. Wireline Competition Bureau for the FCC

First, half of the fund was going for voicemail, email, or non-broadband services. For a $2.4 billion program, half of its resources were going to those legacy services. Not that they aren't important, but as a policy goal, we didn't think it made sense to spend that much money on those legacy services at the expense of not spending more on broadband.

Second, we saw wild variations in the prices that many schools and districts were paying for the same services. What might cost $750 per month in one state was over $5,000 for the same connection in another state.

The reason we focus so much on Wi-Fi in [E-Rate 2.0] is because we weren't targeting dollars towards internal connectivity. Now, connections to the school are obviously essential, but so too is having that connectivity in the classroom so that we can get connectivity' to devices in the hands of students. Essentially, we weren't spending any money on Wi-Fi in the previous year.

WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?

John Harrington, Chief Executive Officer, Funds for Learning

There have been some significant changes related to discount rates. First of all, instead of having individual school discount rate calculations, your district will now be subject to one discount rate. That single discount rate will be calculated based on your total enrollment and the total number of students that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. …

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