It is indeed hard to think of any sector that does not have use for the Internet. Whether it is education, research, manufacturing, military and so on, the applications of the Internet go far in helping in aspects such as:
- social networking
- better marketing campaigns
- information sharing and
- fostering educational programs.
When you talk about the last objective namely education, one rather successful program that has come to the fore is E-Rate. As one of the programs developed by the US administration, E-Rate is all about:
- making it possible for schools and public libraries to enjoy affordable telecommunications
- allowing Carrier e-rate to be functioning free of any influence from local exchange carriers
- funding for carriers across categories such as internal connections, Internet access and other telecom services.
Objectives of the program
When it comes to Carrier e-rate, it is all about the provision of telecom services and Internet access to a larger public in the education domain. Discounts are therefore given to carriers when they are eligible for this program and interestingly, anywhere between 20 to 90% of the costs can be met under this program. Some of the services that fall under its umbrella include:
- T1 access
- Ethernet services
- Maintenance of the network
- Fiber services and so on.
For telecom companies
Telecom companies will need to go through the eligibility of services list in order to be accepted as a Carrier e-rate under this federal program. Academic institutions also have to show their eligibility for this program and both entities can benefit from tying up with a master agent. Some of the eligibility criteria or services include:
- Wireless access to the Internet
- Web hosting services
- Dark fiber services and even
- Email services.
Some services may not be part of the official Carrier e-rate program. Even though they are, sometimes, necessary for the academic institutions to enjoy telecom infrastructure, the services may not be considered for support under this program. For instance, training on how to use the Internet and dark fiber warehousing are not covered under the Carrier e-rate eligibility criteria.
There is absolutely no doubt that programs such as E-rate can indeed go a long way in helping academic institutions enjoy cutting-edge technology and reliable access to the Internet. This can become even more important if the academy or institution in question is situated in a remote area. Access to all the relevant information and current topics of discussion can give the students and teachers a very powerful way of learning.