Arizona universal service fund

Published: Published: November 1st, 2017

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

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
    Published: Published: 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 , , , |