Top 5 Benefits of E-Rate Funding

In 1996, Congress approved the E-Rate program that allows schools to receive discounts on internet and other telecommunications services. When it launched, only 14 percent of the country’s K-12 had internet access at school. 

Today the percentage is significantly higher, although a number of U.S. schools have yet to apply for E-Rate discounts. If your school or district is one of them, you may want to review the pros and cons of internet in schools, and then look into the benefits of the E-Rate program to see what you may be missing.

The following is a recap of some of the Top 5 most significant benefits of using E-Rate to see firsthand the advantages of technology in education:

  1. 20 to 90 Percent Savings  Depending on financial standing and need, a school can save anywhere between 20 and 90 percent on eligible services at a participating internet provider. The national average, according to the FCC, is 74 percent. This reduction in cost may free up funds in other areas, such as teacher salaries, equipment and facilities.
  2. Technology in the Classroom - Higher Student-to-Device/Service Level —When costs on technology in the classroom are reduced, more students can have access to the internet and online learning opportunities. Case in point: In Lafayette, Louisiana, the school district’s 80 percent discount will allow each student to have his or her own iPad or Chromebook by 2020. This, in turn, will enable them to participate in statewide testing programs.
  3. Internet Access at School — For many schools without a sufficient telecommunications infrastructure, “rationing” of tech-based services, such as live streaming, can curtail some learning activities or eliminate them altogether. With E-Rate funding, many schools have been able to shore up their technical services, giving them greater access to educational content which is great for teachers and students.
  4. Access Where Students Need It — Even today, many American families lack the financial means to afford high-speed internet. Others in rural areas may lack access to internet service providers. Schools with reliable WiFi and internet for students in these circumstances offer critical access to information and content. E-Rate makes it possible for more schools to provide it.
  5. Advantages of Technology in Education  — There are a variety of advantages and ways technology makes it easier for teachers and students to connect. Here are just some of them:
  •  Better Tracking — Internet-enabled platforms simplify tracking and allow parents to monitor progress.
  •  Greater Access — Technology allows teachers to provide content from virtually anywhere, from cloud-based services to live-streaming lectures.
  •  24/7 Learning Opportunities — Students and teachers can connect beyond the walls of schools and outside of typical time frames.
  •  “Green” Teaching — Online and web-based teaching saves paper, printing and space.

Some Things to Watch

While many agree there are more benefits to internet for schools than caveats, it’s important to point out that issues like cyber-bullying, access to inappropriate content and misuse by students or teachers are part of the landscape. These issues can be managed, however, by enacting policies to protect users and monitoring activities regularly.

Learn More About E-Rate Today With Cable ONE Business

For additional information about the E-Rate program, visit the links below, or turn to a Cable ONE Business e-rate representative at 844.466.0271 today.

Benefits of E-Rate Infographic

E-Rate FAQs Infographic