04-10-2014 10:45 AM
The FCC has requested comments from e-rate stakeholders on how the E-rate program should be reformed. As has been discussed, the lack of Priority 2 funding for Internal Connections (switches, routers, wireless infrastrucutre WITHIN a school/library) has become a huge issue for K-12 Technology Directors as they try to prepare their Districts for Common Core testing and support of BYOD-based digital learning initiatives. See Brocade's Comments to the FCC HERE
If you are not into reading official comments to the FCC, let me summarize for you. We advocate that Internal Connections should receive a higher priority, becuase after all, what good is a big fat pipe to a school if the infrastructure within the school can't support the numerous devices on the internal network. We also advocate that an Infrastructure as a Service model for internal connections should be an e-rate eligible service. Much like a school district leases WAN circuits from a service provider, there should be an option to pay month to month for internal infrastructure, with no penalty if the infrastructure needs to be scaled up or down.
In the face of a lack of Priority 2 funding and the demands of common core testing, we are seeing a number of school districts that want to go this route since there is no access to Capital Expense funds. Would be great to see this as an eligible service under the E-rate program as well..