Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries
On July 14th, 2014, the FCC announced plans to increase E-rate funding for broadband in schools to $5 billion ($1 billion per year over the next five years). Docket WC 13-184, entitled “Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries”, highlights the expense of bringing bandwidth from the school wiring closet to classrooms.
In a survey conducted by CoSN (Consortium for School Networking), only one-quarter of districts reported 100% compliance with President Obama’s ConnectED goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 pupils. Forty-three percent of districts reported that none of their schools met the President’s target.
Cat 5/6 wiring is an expensive option when planning school broadband upgrades, with rewiring costs often reaching six figures. An alternative, cost-effective technology for IT managers is CWave. The technology uses existing coax cabling (found in most schools), to satisfy the FCC’s broadband upgrade goals. With a roadmap to 12 Gbps, CWave comfortably meets today’s ConnectED 100 Mbps target and offers an upgrade path that will meet requirements for the foreseeable future.
In addition to significant cost reduction, CWave-over-existing-coax minimizes disruption to students and staff and can be installed at any time, even during the school year. CWave coexists with DOCSIS (including 3.1), cable and satellite, stretching the Schools and Libraries program funding to cover more schools.
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