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Comments on news posted 2013-02-20 08:37:17: I've been writing about the dysfunction of the FCC's E-Rate program for a very long time. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · next

elizabeth

join:2010-07-23

Comcast business is $60 a month

Unsubsidized Comcast business is $60 a month. Why does any school or library need a subsidy?

axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC
Well, that's over $10000 for 15 years of service, but not millions!


Mr Anon

@k12.il.us

I haven't read yet but...

I can tell you what E-Rate does around here and its a lot!

E-Rate pays a lot of things for us, like internal connection maintenance, WAN, Internet, Cellular and wireline service. Also support of approved items but that we have lost. Also we are in danger of loosing most of our support as E-Rate this year really isn't helping those under 90%. You can still put in for it but we've already seem memos that say don't hold your breath.

This gets us not only the connection its self but equipment for that connection, servers for use of it (only approved items) and without it we would be a bad shape!

I do plan to read the article because I find it hard that this stuff is going on, not that it is impossible just hard. We get scrutinized on just about everything we submit and how we do it. Occasionally they check our numbers, filing and if we are in the window to get hardware, that we have it and that its actually in use.

Like anything it can be misused and abused but is is extremely needed!


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to elizabeth

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

Most schools have hundreds or thousands of computers and users. A basic Comcast business internet account will not support this level of use. We haven't discussed telephone needs...

Edit: I do not support the USF or E-Rate programs. I agree that these are slush funds abused by the providers and recipients.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

VoIP services

Many budget strapped schools are upgrading their phones to cheaper VoIP services that are typically cheaper than traditional telephone service (even with the E-rate subsidy).

As for the Orthodox school in question, sounds like a clear case of fraud. They think that the Internet and telephone has poisoned society but they seem to think stealing is ok.

I myself am Catholic and its against the Ten Commandments to steal.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
reply to morbo

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

Perhaps it would if the instructors would stop watching porn and surfing eBay.


AlexNYC

join:2001-06-02
Edwards, CO

You just figured this now?

WOW ... yes, I don't think this is much news or will surprise any New Yorker. Welcome to Brooklyn baby!


kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY
reply to elizabeth

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

said by elizabeth:

Unsubsidized Comcast business is $60 a month. Why does any school or library need a subsidy?

Because if a school doesn't buy the e-rate product they do have to pay for it themselves.
If they go through the e-rate program, they won't have to pay, and the e-rate sales team at the ISP/Telco will help them find the equivalent service which will be billed in the $6000 per month range. So the IT people for the school, look at their cost for simple business class service: ~$700/year or e-rate service: $FREE.
Then they go for the cheaper option.

Everybody wins. The Gov't/FCC has helped a school get Internet access, the school gets a connection, and the ISP makes a sale.

And that's when there isn't even any fraud involved.

cableman0327

join:2004-10-10
Westminster, MD

Will it ever change???

Funny how the government abuse's OUR money, & how funny the people abuse the government, the bad part about it is, the Government knows about it, but doesn't do anything to fix it. That's why we owe Trillions to China...


DWN2DV8

@bhn.net

Welcome to Americas

Welcome to earth. Now you don't worry about what we do with the money. We know what's best. You just keep working.
Expand your moderator at work

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to Mr Anon

Re: I haven't read yet but...

Then put it up for a property tax referendum and learn really how important it is.


teach121

@att.net

No Access

The issue many people forget, is that many rural areas STILL have no access to wireline broadband. E-Rate funding is the only way a district can afford the T-1's necessary due to lack of broadband infrastructure. If they could get a $60 a month connection that is faster than a multi-linked frame relay and without doing the paperwork that E-Rate requires...they would.

majortom1029

join:2006-10-19
Lindenhurst, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

ugh

I am a network admin for a library. We do not get Erate funding because it requires ALL computers to be filtered. Adult machines also. We want the adult machines to be not filtered.

It upsets me that schools and libraries that do not even provide internet at all are receiving funding yet we do not because we do not filter everything.

mj3431

join:2003-04-21
STL, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to kontos

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

It appears you're not familiar with how e-rate works. The pricing on most dedicated services is driven by a state contract to begin with, so schools already get better than commercial pricing. Then the e-rate discount percentage is based on the population that qualifies for free/reduced lunches. Those with high enough percentages qualify for more + additional funding categories.

Rarely does e-rate make a connection outright free. It also covers basic telephone access, cellular, and long distance, not just Internet service.

mj3431

join:2003-04-21
STL, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to majortom1029

Re: ugh

E-rate can also be used for basic telecommunications services like local, long distance, and cellular.

You could think outside the box and have a great (discounted) filtered connection for patron use and a separate gateway for adult users (non-discounted).


jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to Mr Anon

Re: I haven't read yet but...

said by Mr Anon :

Like anything it can be misused and abused but is is extremely needed!

Of course it is, everything in government is extremely needed. Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth at the slightest hint of slowing the rate of spending growth or *gasp* an actual budget cut....

But this is Illinois, so I have no doubt we'll hear the standard refrain -- "if you don't increased taxes we'll make the children suffer, and furlough the cops and firemen (while of course the "administration" budget hums along normally)."


jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to teach121

Re: No Access

said by teach121 :

The issue many people forget, is that many rural areas STILL have no access to wireline broadband. E-Rate funding is the only way a district can afford the T-1's necessary due to lack of broadband infrastructure.

Then why are agencies in areas that HAVE been built up over the past 20 years still suckling at the E-Rate teat even though there are plenty of cheap, fast, reliable alternatives available?

Because it's "someone else's money". And in many states, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that manages the (slow, overpriced, shitty) public agency network and no one wants to rock the boat.


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
reply to majortom1029

Re: ugh

This isn't normal funding, this is fraud. Regular theft should also upset you.

Hopefully soon something will happen to this school...


JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Better audit those Amish schools too.

Is any money going to Amish schools?


HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: VoIP services

said by IowaCowboy:

As for the Orthodox school in question, sounds like a clear case of fraud. They think that the Internet and telephone has poisoned society but they seem to think stealing is ok.

I myself am Catholic and its against the Ten Commandments to steal.

Catholic or Orthodox Jewish, same commandment against theft. Very disappointing.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Yet another reason to cancel and refund the program

Let the taxpayers keep their money and decide for themselves how best to spend it, rather than stealing it from them so a few politicians in Washington can play Santa.


fred_6544567

@107.37.77.x

dumb question

Why do schools need internet access anyway? Are all the students surfing the internet while in class or what?

if you are a teacher and you want content from the internet for your classes, download it ahead of time.

i haven't been in a school or juco setting for oer 10 years but i wonder whats going on. Are they all on facebook during class? is there any real learning going on?


imanon

@comcast.net
As someone who has worked for numerous schools... I can tell you that Internet access really does provide some "good learning" when used appropriately (not constantly) and with a (usually younger) tech-savvy teacher. In most other cases however, Internet and BYOD or "1-laptop-per-child programs" are used as PR to make the school seem relevant or "cool" or "with it" and in too many cases leads to lazy teachers who just show YouTube videos, or teachers who are simply too old or un-trained/un-supported and don't use any of the technology at all.

In my opinion creating "online classrooms" (Joomla and Wiki's are very popular/cheap for this) or posting kids/class work online has little benefit to the student's actual learning but maximum benefit to appease parents by having them "connected" with what their child is doing. In the industry this is often referred to as "helicopter parent avoidance" the concept of having the parent feel like they have a relationship with the school, and know what their child is doing either through online assessment and grades available online, or through some digital dossier - but ultimately not wanting parents to contact the school or attend parent-teacher-conferences because that "takes up too much real time"

Schools will often try to "sell" the idea of technology integration by claiming it will help the children later in life, but when poorly implemented it has little effect. When the school implements free or sometimes vapor-ware products, or "toys" like iPads or Android tablets; the argument that the child has a head start in the workplace where Word and Excel is the norm doesn't really add up. Not to mention they still can't properly format a paragraph or complete sentence - cause all the technology in the world isn't going to help with that.

Kids can see through all this non-sense pretty easily. When you first introduce laptops or tablets to a classroom there is that initial "wow" factor. Pretty soon the kids realize there still being asked to do mindless times tables except its online in some flash object instead of on paper, and thus the novelty/excitement wears off.

As with anything there are abuses, schools who don't believe in or think they can't afford Internet filtering. Although having an Internet filter was supposed to be a pre-requisite for eRate funding, but nobody actually checks/enforces it.

I should also point out, at least in IL, eRate is determined by a few factors and it's not just an easy hand-out. Depending on the school's demographics (especially ethnicity) and their ability to either hire a consultant or assign someone internally to "jump through the hoops" of filling out lots of BS paperwork- basically a "report" on how successful the school is at one aspect of technology integration, this is what determines the eRate "reward." In the end, all this amounts to just another "everyone around the table can make some money" scheme.

At the risk of sounding even more cynical, realize that schools can't really attract a talented network administrator (mostly monetary reasons) and therefore are often stuck in the "lets keep adding more T-1s" or let's keeping forking over $$ to illinois.net for expensive service. Rather, someone with the right experience would be looking at tools/hardware to bandwidth restrict/throttle, cache on-site, or combine/load-ballance multiple cheaper DSL, wireless, or Cable connections.


motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: VoIP services

said by IowaCowboy:

Many budget strapped schools are upgrading their phones to cheaper VoIP services that are typically cheaper than traditional telephone service (even with the E-rate subsidy).

As for the Orthodox school in question, sounds like a clear case of fraud. They think that the Internet and telephone has poisoned society but they seem to think stealing is ok.

I myself am Catholic and its against the Ten Commandments to steal.

when I was in high school they had VoIP based phones as long as I remember from 2005-2009 but yeah I went to High School in a City the Size of 300,000 plus citizens so the school population is around 3,000 students big enough to be a city of its own

mj3431

join:2003-04-21
STL, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to imanon

Re: dumb question

said by imanon :


At the risk of sounding even more cynical, realize that schools can't really attract a talented network administrator (mostly monetary reasons) and therefore are often stuck in the "lets keep adding more T-1s" or let's keeping forking over $$ to illinois.net for expensive service. Rather, someone with the right experience would be looking at tools/hardware to bandwidth restrict/throttle, cache on-site, or combine/load-ballance multiple cheaper DSL, wireless, or Cable connections.

I'm on the fence here. Sometimes adding more T-1's is the only option. There's a site near me that has been using multiple T-1's for years simply because that's all AT&T will provide. Yes, constructing private fiber or towers for fixed wireless is an option but not without a bond issue or similar voter approved spending. Luckily another provider has been awarded stimulus funds and will finally have fiber lit in that building within a few months for those folks. Without federal dollars this probably would have never happened. What you're not realizing is that if all they can get is T-1 lines then DSL, cable, and wireless probably aren't available either.

In addition to that, many states are implementing online assessment programs through Smarter Balanced and doing away with the old written tests. This makes Internet access and readily available technology mandatory....without additional funding mind you.


kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY
reply to mj3431

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

said by mj3431:

It appears you're not familiar with how e-rate works.

Actually I think I am.
said by mj3431:

The pricing on most dedicated services is driven by a state contract to begin with, so schools already get better than commercial pricing.

Yes, they're funneled to the high-cost/high-margin services available on the e-rate contract; even if a simple and cheap solution would be appropriate. This is exactly how you see stories here about small rural schools in WV using e-rate to get a pair of redundant $50k installed.
So exactly as I said, you get a really nice and expensive service installed even though a cheaper alternative could have been just as good at solving the problem.

said by mj3431:

Rarely does e-rate make a connection outright free. It also covers basic telephone access, cellular, and long distance, not just Internet service.

In the public sector, getting grant money is seen as a goal on its own. Spending a couple thousand to bring in several thousand in grants is viewed by many even if there are no benefits realized from the grants. The size of the kingdom is still increased.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to mj3431

Re: dumb question

Maybe for some extremely rural locations, but in general, most cable companies have MetroE offerings, and many schools would probably be fine with a 100mbps DOCSIS 3 connection. Heck my high school, which has several hundred Windows XP computers was running off a 3mpbs connection for a while.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..
reply to morbo

Re: Comcast business is $60 a month

said by morbo:

Most schools have hundreds or thousands of computers and users. A basic Comcast business internet account will not support this level of use. We haven't discussed telephone needs...

Edit: I do not support the USF or E-Rate programs. I agree that these are slush funds abused by the providers and recipients.

Does anyone have a link to a .gov site which could tell us how many network devices a school has?

I have Comcast business and it's pretty decent. If an area doesn't have decent Internet infrastructure, shouldn't we be more concerned with a build out, than to expensive stuff to one or two buildings while the rest of a community has nothing?
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..
reply to Mr Anon

Re: I haven't read yet but...

said by Mr Anon :

I can tell you what E-Rate does around here and its a lot!

Switches? Servers? You are kidding (I hope). The school district should plan it's network using it's tax base. A 24 port gigabit Ethernet switch cost me $90 (unmanaged rack mount), I could have spent a few grand more, for a really nice one.

Sometimes, doing with what one has is a good learning experience.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.