Teachers and students use the internet as a valuable resource to research, validate and create regularly in the classroom. Administrators have a lot to think about in providing access at their locations and often get taken advantage of when following process and protocols.
Teachers just want to provide students with the tools needed to be successful later in their lives, while schools look to provide the best possible learning experience for their students. Having to search through numerous providers, various costs and super-long contracts can be daunting tasks for location administrators. Many are also unfamiliar with the terminology and what software and hardware is needed to get the fastest access speeds for their specific location. Sure 1Gbps sounds good, or does it? What does Gbps actually mean? Let's put it like this, if you see this at your location, you're location is in trouble:
By the way, Gbps stands for Gigabits per second which refers to the data transfer rates. A Gigabit is a billion bits. If that sounds like a lot, it is but with the number of devices a location can have, the higher the transfer rate needed. This is the reason many locations limit the amount of devices people can use to access the network.
So what are school admins supposed to do? Well, the answer may be easier than many knew. As most admins are aware, C3 contracts with Funds for Learning (FFL) a company which provide E-Rate application services, at no cost to the schools, to assist with E-RATE applications. What may not be as well known, is the availability of the C3 resource specialists and the C3 support team. Any school admin is encouraged to refer to any contracts for technology to C3 before signing and committing the location.
DID YOU KNOW?
That anyone can submit a bid as part of the E-RATE process? Many companies have an education specific department or division that offers better prices than "regular" sales account executives or third-party vendors. Many admins are told they are getting a good price for their service, when in reality, they are getting a retail or worse price, often hundreds of dollars more a month. There are often other conditions such as "cancellation" and other hidden fees listed in contracts that are not highlighted, mentioned or discussed with locations upon execution of contracts.