The FCC created the E-Rate program to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. E-Rate provides discounts for telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries using funding from the Universal Service Fund (fcc.gov/general/universal-service-fund).
Direct Internet Access, or DIA, provides your school with private, fast, reliable, and consistent online access. If your school has a non-dedicated internet connection from your service provider, you have no doubt learned that fluctuating speeds, latency, and packet drops can be a real problem. Your only on-ramp to the internet operates at the bandwidth and speed you purchased and not necessarily at the consistent speeds you need to handle your traffic because it competes with all other active traffic on the network.
Dedicated internet access is backed by a privately owned and operated fiber optic network. You receive uncontested, private access to the internet so your school can finally receive consistent speed and bandwidth all of the time.
Benefits of Direct Internet Access
With multiple fiber routes and diverse paths, you can rest assured you will have redundancy and high availability, so you are always protected against unexpected downtime and gaps in service. DIA service is designed and optimized for all types of advanced learning technologies and collaboration that includes:
• Distance learning
• Online student testing
• IP-based security systems
• Voice-over -internet protocol
• Streaming video and audio
• Cloud computing using google apps and Office 65
With DIA, your dedicated circuit will be backed by stringent service level agreements that will ensure your provider meets uptime, bandwidth, and other requirements at least 99% of the time.
DIA also delivers higher connection quality, bringing considerable improvements in latency, jitter, and packet loss compared to a public shared internet connection.
What Benefits Are Available Under The E-Rate Program?
Eligible schools and libraries may receive discounts on telecommunications, telecommunications services, and internet access, as well as internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and essential maintenance of internal connections.
Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent and are based on the school’s poverty level. Rural schools and libraries may also receive a higher discount. Recipients of E Rate funding are required to pay some portion of the service costs.