E-Rate 101: Help Schools Succeed With Mobility and Wireless Solutions

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Various US government programs and services may be in a state of flux at the moment, but programs in support of schools and education continue to remain strong. One of these programs channel resellers can take advantage of is the E-Rate program, which provides federal funding from the FCC administered by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC).

E-Rate reimburses schools and libraries for up to $2 billion in telecommunications services, internet access and supporting infrastructure. The program is available to public and private primary and secondary schools and libraries that qualify for state assistance, reimbursing 20 to 90% of service costs for these projects based on the number of students participating in free lunch programs.

Funding is available for telecommunication services projects at these locations, including digital transmission, phone and paging services, distance learning, interactive television and general Internet services. Internal connections are also covered under this program, such as campus infrastructure that includes cabling, switches, routers, firewalls, WLAN, back-end phone systems, and video distribution. End-user devices like PCs, phones and radios are not covered under the E-Rate program, however.

E-Rate is just one of a number of government programs resellers can leverage to grow their business in the public sector. In 2012, nearly $800M was distributed over 7,000+ internal connections, with nearly 500 applications submitted each year. Half of these programs include some wireless networking components. Submission processes usually begin in July of a given year, with awards running through March of the following year.

BlueStar and Motorola offer an extensive support program for reseller partners who want to explore their options within these opportunities for educational telecommunications technology solutions. E-Rate sales training, market intelligence, lead development and generation, RFP support, K-12 resources, lead filtering, and best practices are just a few options resellers can leverage to realize incremental new business in government services.

Talk to BlueStar’s E-Rate and WLAN Solutions Specialist Gary Rolfsen at 859-371-4423 ext. 3322 or rolfsen@bluestarinc.com today to learn more about these and other Motorola opportunities across the public sector.

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