Broadband


November 1st, 2017

Arizona Department of Education to Host Free Sign-Up Day for High-Speed Internet

Green background with a cartoon Earth and a computer mouse resting on the planet.

As you may know, the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for all schools in Arizona to sign up for access to broadband (high-speed) internet service at free or little cost before the deadline in early 2018 closes.

As one of only 17 states that have millions of dollars available for this opportunity, this is an incredible chance for areas with no or slow internet to have access to telemedicine, online occupational and speech therapy, distance learning, as well as the broadband speed necessary for teachers to utilize in all sorts of creative ways.

In order to make it easy for schools to take advantage of this program, the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative – in conjunction with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, as well as Cochise County Superintendent Jacqui Clay and Coconino County Superintendent Risha VanderWey – are hosting two “sign-up days” at no cost to the schools.

RSVP by emailing Milan Eaton at [email protected] by December 5, 2017.

  • 9 AM – 4 PM on December 7, 2017 in Cochise County at 901 North Colombo Ave, Sierra Vista AZ
  • 9 AM – 4 PM on January 11, 2018 in Coconino County at 400 North Cummings St, Flagstaff AZ
  • Posted in Broadband, E-rate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
    May 8th, 2017

    Arizona Legislature Funds the Broadband Expansion Project

    On Friday, May 5, 2017, the Arizona Legislature passed its fiscal year 2018 budget. One of the most important budget priorities for the Arizona Department of Education received funding, which was the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative.

    The legislature appropriated $3 million to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) for this broadband expansion project.

    The Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative is a project to ensure that every public K-12 instructional building in the state is connected via high-speed and reliable broadband connections in order to enable digital learning in the classroom. Equal access to broadband services is critical to the success of a child’s education in the 21st century, especially for underserved children from small schools in rural parts of Arizona. Currently, only 23 percent of Arizona school districts meet national affordability benchmarks for broadband access.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offered enhanced discounts for special construction of broadband infrastructure based on a dollar-for-dollar state match up to 10 percent of the total project cost. The Arizona Governor’s office, the Corporation Commission, the Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, the Secretary of State, and the nonprofit organization EducationSuperHighway have partnered to make this project become a reality.

    The successful funding by the Arizona Legislature is a decisive win for everyone concerned who have been in the trenches from the beginning, fighting for this broadband project. Now it’s time to role up the proverbial sleeves and get busy in making broadband available to all Arizona schools and libraries. Please visit EducationSuperHighway or ADE’s Broadband blog for more information.

    Posted in Broadband, News | Tagged , |
    April 21st, 2017

    FCC Approves the Arizona Universal Service Fund

    AUSF UPDATE: FCC Approves the Arizona Universal Service Fund to Award State Matches for Special Construction of Broadband Infrastructure for Arizona Schools and Libraries

    The Corporation Commission approved changes to the Arizona Universal Service Fund (AUSF), providing $8 million in state funding for schools and libraries across the state to access high-speed broadband internet services. In combination with Governor Ducey’s $5 million broadband funding proposal, these state funds could bring in more than $100 million in federal E-Rate funds to pay for special construction of the needed broadband infrastructure for schools and libraries.

    The Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative is a partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Corporation Commission, the Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, the Secretary of State, and the nonprofit organization EducationSuperHighway. The program’s goal is to ensure that every public K-12 instructional building in the state is connected via high-speed and reliable broadband connections to enable digital learning in the classroom. The state of Arizona is also one of only eleven states to qualify for this special E-Rate program from the FCC.

    E-Rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and libraries for affordable telecommunications and internet access. In December 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees the E-Rate program offered enhanced discounts for special construction of broadband infrastructure based on a dollar-for-dollar state match up to 10% of the total project cost. Yesterday, the FCC approved the Commission’s new AUSF plan as a state matching fund.

    Commissioner Andy Tobin of the FCC welcomed the news, saying, “Thanks to the decisive action of this Commission and the excellent work of our Staff, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Secretary of State, and the EducationSuperHighway, we positioned Arizona to potentially access over $100 million in critical infrastructure funding from the federal government. This incredible collaboration shows what can be accomplished when government works together to find solutions for our constituents. I look forward to working with Arizona Department of Education over the next two years to administer these funds in a timely manner, ensuring broadband access for students all across our state.”

    Commissioner Bob Burns also praised the recent FCC approval. “With so many students lacking basic internet access, securing these funds remains a top priority. High-speed connectivity will allow Arizona’s students to utilize technology, which includes access to Arizona’s internationally recognized Telemedicine Program with its grades seven through twelve pre-med introduction course to dramatically increase their educational aptitude and overall chances for success.”

    Equal access to broadband services is critical to the success of a child’s education in the 21st century, especially for under-served children from small schools in rural parts of Arizona. Currently, only 23 percent of Arizona school districts meet national affordability benchmarks for broadband access. This announcement is a decisive win for all Arizona schools and its students.

    Posted in Broadband, E-rate | Tagged , , , |
    April 7th, 2017

    Sign Up for the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative Now!

    The deadline is approaching for Arizona schools to get reimbursed for their broadband services.

    Arizona K-12 schools that need little to no cost broadband connection services must act soon to take advantage of the new Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative. The deadline for 2017 is April 13 to post your Form 470 and associated RFP.

    All the steps for the process are on the ADE website under Broadband Initiative. From here, scroll down and click on “Get Broadband for Your School” to begin. The process should take less than an hour. It’s that easy!

    Those who need help should immediately contact your State E-Rate Director and ADE representative, Milan Eaton. Arizona schools have been waiting long enough—the time to add high-speed Internet capabilities in all Arizona classrooms is now!

    Posted in Broadband |
    February 14th, 2017

    How is the proposed State Matching Fund related to E-rate?

    The State Matching Provision was instituted as part of the E-rate Modernization Orders implemented over the last few years. In the Second E-rate Modernization Order, the FCC adopted rules providing additional Category One funding to match state funding for special construction to connect schools and libraries to high-speed broadband services that meet the FCC’s long-term capacity broadband goals. The E-rate Program will increase an applicant’s discount rate for special construction charges up to an additional 10% to match state funding on a one-to-one dollar basis. For schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education or Tribal governments and libraries operated by Tribal governments, the one-to-one dollar match of up to 10% will be available for funding received for special construction costs from states, Tribal governments, or other federal agencies.

    Schools must participate in the E-rate program to be eligible to receive state matching funds.

    Posted in Broadband, E-rate, FAQ |
    February 1st, 2017

    How do we participate in the Initiative?

    Determine whether one or more campuses in your district does not have a scalable, broadband connection to the Internet.

    Post your 470 and /RFP by February 1st requesting a high speed / scalable infrastructure solution. Filing a form 470 generally takes one hour and both EducationSuperHighway and the State Erate Director, Milan Eaton, are available to support districts with the process. If you have questions or need additional support writing the RFP or determining bandwidth requirements, please contact Juliann Igo, a District Consultant with EducationSuperHighway at [email protected] or Milan Eaton at [email protected] with questions.

    Posted in Broadband, FAQ |
    February 1st, 2017

    What’s the best way to get started?

    View your district’s profile on Compare & Connect K-12. Your profile displays your public E-rate filing information, your recommended minimum bandwidth speed based on number of students, and a list of other districts purchasing comparable services.

    Determine the bandwidth needed for your schools and/or district hub in order to support digital learning in the classroom: SEDTA’s K-12 Bandwidth Goals Compare & Connect K-12

    Contact your E-rate consultant (if applicable) about the upgrade opportunity available through the Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative and discuss a timeline and next steps.

    Create your Form 470 with an attached RFP

    These are meant to be inserted into your existing RFP boilers that specifies local and state procurement requirements. Sample Form 470 narrative language and best practices are available here.

    Post your Form 470 (s) with your attached RFP by 3-1-17 on the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) portal.

    Inform your current/local service providers that your RFP has been posted.

    Wait a minimum of 28 days from posting your Form 470 then begin evaluating bids and select the solution that fits your needs with overall cost being the heaviest weighted factor (Execution of contract should be contingent upon funding approval) (Close of 471 window – TBA).

    Send your requested State Funding amount to EducationSuperHighway and State Erate Director according to the application review process once finalized by the state.

    Posted in Broadband, FAQ |