Standing in front of a classroom full of expectant students, waiting (and waiting) for students’ learning applications to load is a frustrating and time-consuming experience for any teacher and why robust and reliable classroom connectivity is critical for teachers and students. But finding broadband service for schools that’s both affordable and offers enough bandwidth can be difficult.
To help school districts get the bandwidth that can support digital learning, we created Compare & Connect K-12, an online tool that shows broadband services and bandwidth speeds for school districts across the country. In just a few short months since the beta launch, we are already seeing that when armed with the knowledge of other school districts’ broadband deals, district leaders can significantly increase the bandwidth they receive within their existing budgets.
In Appomattox County Schools in Virginia, for example, Technology Director Brette Arbogast used Compare & Connect K-12 to view price comparisons which allowed him to negotiate an upgrade of 4x more bandwidth at zero additional cost.
Transparency helps school district tech directors to upgrade their Internet connection by simply calling their service provider. The Superintendent of Perry Public Schools in Oklahoma and a partner from Oklahoma’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services realized Perry’s current connection wasn’t meeting the FCC’s minimum connectivity goals of 100 kbps/student, and after viewing other districts’ pricing, they reached out to their service provider to ask for more bandwidth. In just one phone call, they were able to negotiate an increase of 5x more bandwidth for Perry’s schools and are now meeting the 100 kbps/student goal with an increase of only $60 monthly.
Other school districts are using the information to compare their bandwidth speeds and broadband services to those of nearby school districts to see if they are getting the best deal possible. After reviewing information on Compare & Connect K-12, Kyle Hancock, Tech Director for Hudson School District in New Hampshire, reached out to fellow tech directors and found that the other districts were getting a better deal on their broadband. Using this knowledge, Kyle renegotiated and on his recent E-rate Form 470 bids received 10x more bandwidth for $200 less per month. Students at Hudson School District will soon be able to use up to 1 Gbps of bandwidth and take advantage of a myriad of digital learning tools.
Are your schools getting a good deal? Can you get more bandwidth for what you are paying? Check out Compare & Connect K-12 and read our tips on negotiating with service providers. Feedback or questions? Contact us directly.