What you don’t know can hurt you…and hurt your students.

K-12 schools are currently planning for the E-rate program which provides discounts on services and products that increase broadband capabilities in classrooms & libraries to support digital learning, online testing and collaboration.

You may be aware of some of the changes to the program, but many of our clients did not know at least one of the following items, so we thought it was important to illuminate a few facts about E-rate before you file your Form 470.

1. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Still Does Wireless – well!

If your network is built on Hewlett Packard Enterprise, you do not need to switch manufacturers. Hewlett Packard Enterprise still sells wireless networks, but they purchased a company called Aruba Networks to build them. Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is one of the world’s leading wireless platforms and Hewlett Packard Enterprise elected to keep their brand name. Rest assured that if you are running on HP ProCurve, Aruba is the direct (and significant) upgrade to your existing system.

2. Funding for Everyone

With new expectations for 1:1 service and BYOD influx, the FCC changed the rules on who can get E-rate funds. In the past, only schools with 80% reduced price lunch count received E-rate funds. According to the new guidelines, every district will receive funds. That means if your schools are at a 50% free/reduced price lunch count, you can save 50% off your technology upgrade. If you have not filed for your E-rate funds in the past, now is the time to start.

3. The 3-of-5 Rule

Even if you didn’t use your available E-rate funds last year, there is still time. Schools & libraries can make use of their E-rate funds 3 out of every 5 years, so if you didn’t use your E-funds in 2015 or 2016, you can activate E-rate discounts every year thru 2020 if that suits your needs.

Bottom Line:

Over $160 million in E-rate funds were available to Indiana schools and libraries last year. Nearly $100 million went unused.

You want to enable your district to succeed – knowing how is half the battle.

Click here to learn about some key features of the Aruba wireless platform to make sure your district gets the best performance possible from WiFi.

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Matrix Integration specializes in information technology solutions for K-12 including IT consulting, security, communications, networking, implementation, onboarding, wireless, data centers, staff augmentation, managed services, remote monitoring and disaster recovery.