E-rate will no longer offer telecom funding as of FL2019.
Technology in schools has been increasingly on the rise since education began recognizing the internet as an effective learning tool in the 1990’s. Around that time the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under direction of the FCC, began offering financial assistance to schools, insuring students were provided with the necessary resources to excel in a technology driven world.
USAC’s program, E-rate, was designed to help schools obtain both affordable internet access as well as telecom services. However, beginning in the 2019 fiscal year, telecom services will no longer be eligible for funding. While phone and voice services might not affect students as directly as internet connections, they are vital to daily school administration.
Local and long distant wired phone service, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), and cellular phone services are all included under the service type “Voice Services” being cut from funding in FL2019.
What Steps should Schools Take?
It’s time to take a close look at your service and available options.
Funding has played a big roll in how educational and library groups shopped and contracted for voices services. The 2019 change should provide an opportunity to sharpen the pencil and see what alternative options are available. Systems that have traditionally used PRI and POTs lines should take the time to investigate SIP Trunking or Hosted PBX services.
Getting a full Telecom Review is the ideal way to examine your current phone system and service to uncover potential cost saving opportunities and better technology solutions.
Following through this process with an expert ensures thoroughness and accuracy.
What is a Telecom Review and how is it beneficial?
A Telecom Review takes a look at your school’s entire system, from how it’s configured to how it is billed. Completing a review will:
Uncover any potential billing errors. What taxes, fees, and surcharges is the school exempt from? It’s easy for one or several lines on a phone system bill to go overlooked. Having a competitive service provider examine what you’re being charged can be highly revealing; their expert eye is able to catch mistakes and see where you are over-paying for services based on their knowledge of the market.
See if the system can be configured more efficiently for both cost and performance. A good service provider will take the time to examine your system closely, looking for places where resources can be consolidated, unnecessary costs cut, and better technologies implemented.
Discover opportunities to upgrade. Upgrades are not synonymous with higher costs. It often takes more money to keep an outdated system running than it does to adopt a modern phone system solution. Unfortunately, schools are often left behind when it comes to telecom technology. Now is the perfect time to take a closer look at available technology; advancements in telecom technologies provide high-utility features and increased ease of user-ability.
Ohio.net works with Schools to Find the Best Phone System Solution
When it comes to budgeting for a school, finding the best solution is important.
Ohio.net is a leading provider of telecom services, including VoIP, SIP Trunking, and Cloud. Our headquarters, office, and customer service are all located in Ohio, while we provide custom-fitted phone systems solutions to customers across the U.S.
Ohio.net gives you the opportunity to sit down with an expert who will fully examine and discuss your options, without any cost or pressure of commitment. To schedule a Telecom Review for your organization, contact Alex Desberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330.658.1888 or fill out the contact form below and you will be contacted to schedule a meeting.
Schedule a Meeting with Us!
This is an outstanding opportunity to improve your technology and help your operating budget at the same time. We look forward to our conversation.