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The window to file your E-Rate 470 application was closed Feb 27th

by Tyler Wantulok on February 25, 2014

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While the education sector is long on initiatives, 1:1, BYOD, ConnectEd and Common Core to name a few, it always seems to be short on funding. Putting the most advanced technology in the hands of our students and teachers to be used as tools to improve student outcomes is ideal, but expensive. The only thing more expensive is the realization that your district does not have the infrastructure in place to support the bandwidth requirements of these new learning tools. Experts still say that fiber-optic cable is the “gold standard” for providing schools with high-speed connections to the Internet. Before you put today's technology in the hands of your students, invest in tomorrow’s infrastructure.

The President's ConnectEd initiative has made more funds available to the E-Rate program than ever before. The window to file your E-Rate 470 application was closed on February 26th 2014. Don't miss out on an amazing opportunity to leverage the federal E-Rate program to finance dedicated broadband access for your school district. The fiber optic bandwidth provided by a new district wide network, begins at 1GB Ethernet, extending to 400GB and jumping to dark fiber.

Sound too good to be true? Fatbeam, has set its eyes on doing just this. By partnering with school districts, to leverage the federal E-Rate program, Fatbeam can provide real bandwidth in rural markets benefiting not only the schools but the community at large. The company targets communities with populations between 20,000 and 100,000, where the incumbent carrier has not made a significant infrastructure investment.

Butte School District, in Butte, MT is a great example of this partnership. As part of a 10-year contract, the Butte district will pay to lease the new “lit” fiber for a total of $14,000 per month. Sixty one percent of which will be covered by federal E-rate funds. The local college, library, and government facilities will receive similar service. By utilizing Fatbeam with E-Rate funds, the Butte District was able to dramatically increase it's bandwidth while cutting its bill in half. Fatbeam has done similar work in 19 markets across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Fatbeam, is a Competitive Access Provider delivering data transport services to customers in underserved markets of the Western U.S. The company installs fiber throughout smaller markets such as Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Yakima, Washington, after first obtaining a commitment from the local school district to use the fiber. The company also makes sure to connect to the closest Internet point of presence and runs fiber through the towns’ business district. Then they sell connectivity on a wholesale basis to other providers, who use the infrastructure to deliver Internet service and in some cases to support fiber-to-the-home deployments.

With a dedicated Fatbeam network, you will have access to the "gold standard" of connectivity, which will exceed your bandwidth needs. This removes one major obstacle on the road to using technology as a tool to change a student’s trajectory, by ensuring there are no limits on the pace of which each student can learn.

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