Published: 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 |
Published: 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 |
Published: 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 |
Published: February 1st, 2017

How does this help Arizona schools?

This opportunity allows schools to receive broadband access (Infrastructure builds) at little to no charge through federal monies and a state matching fund. However, this opportunity only has a limited window to apply for these funds.

Posted in Broadband, FAQ |
Published: February 1st, 2017

Does Arizona have a State Matching Fund to cover infrastructure costs?

The Arizona Corporation Commission is currently evaluating the possibility of using the Arizona Universal Service Fund (AUSF) to provide a portion of the total State Matching Fund. The Commission will likely be considering this program in February or March.

A one-time distribution of $8-13 million from the existing AUSF would serve as the large portion of the state’s match. In order to ensure that an accurate dollar amount is requested in the state legislative session, our working group needs to determine an estimate of what it will cost applicants districts to get the needed infrastructure. To do this, we encourage all districts who are interested in this proposed additional funding to go through the normal E-rate process by posting a Form 470 and RFP by February 1st and have bids close by March 1stth. That way, we”ll have an idea of what budget amount should be requested by the state.

Posted in Broadband, FAQ |
Published: February 1st, 2017

What is the “Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative” ?

The Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative is a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Education, the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Corporation Commission 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.

To accomplish this goal, EducationSuperHighway’s team is donating the expert resources and time needed to upgrade school district’s broadband networks to scalable, cost-effective infrastructure and to increase bandwidth to classrooms. EducationSuperHighway’s district consultants will work directly with school district leaders — at no cost — to research technology and service provider options, develop a form 470/RFP strategy, and support the implementation of the new network.

The Arizona Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Education will provide schools and libraries with additional supports by providing Erate support assistance via the State Erate Controller and identifying potential funding sources to cover infrastructure construction costs.

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

Who is EducationSuperHighway?

EducationSuperHighway is a not-for-profit organization that is singularly focused on upgrading the Internet infrastructure in K–12 public schools so that all students can take advantage of the transformational power of digital learning.

Posted in Broadband, FAQ |
Published: February 1st, 2017

Which LEAs would be eligible for the proposed State Matching Fund?

The Arizona Broadband for Education Initiative team is establishing a process by which districts and libraries may request the state matching funds and the Arizona Department of Education will review the request for approval. Applicants will be made aware when this process has been established.

Public school districts, charter schools and libraries that participate in the federal E-rate program are eligible to apply.

Private schools, BIE/tribal schools and libraries are all also eligible for E-rate funding. Their respective eligibility for state matching funds will depend upon the authorizing legislation enacted in Arizona.

Posted in Broadband, FAQ |