It's not too late for E-Rate Whitepaper

Now is the time to prepare for 2016 E-Rate funding year.

For years, K-12 schools and libraries have counted on E-Rate funding to modernize and maintain their voice and data communications infrastructure. At the end of 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the decision to reduce the total cost of the E-Rate program, and announced it would discontinue all funding for traditional voice communications such as dial-tone service, long-distance services and voicemail, while eliminating its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) funding in phases over the next five years.

 

How do the recent changes in E-Rate affect my institution?

In the past, K-12 schools and libraries received partial funding at levels from 20% to 90% of their total VoIP costs through the E-Rate program. Under the new guidelines, K-12 schools and libraries will see their funding decrease by 20% for each successive year until all funding is phased out by 2019. The table below explains how this scaling funding would look, depending on current funding levels.

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Why Cloud VoIP makes more sense now than ever

The recent changes in E-Rate funding are forcing schools and libraries to re-think their voice communications strategy, and many of them are finding their future in the cloud. Cloud-based VoIP solutions have come a long way in recent years, providing the same or superior quality, security and reliability that organizations have come to expect from their traditional service providers, while reducing costs and complexity.

Advantages of moving your phone system to the cloud

Here are five advantages you can experience right now by moving your voice communications into the cloud:

  • 1. Lower total cost and no maintenance costs
  • 2. Scalability and reliability
  • 3. Enhanced collaboration
  • 4. Increased productivity
  • 5. Mobility

Although E-Rate funding for the 2016 school year won't begin until July 1, 2016, E-Rate applications may be submitted as early as November 30, 2015. Schools and libraries are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. As you begin evaluating Cloud VoIP providers, Mitel provides technology to help teachers and students at schools and universities communicate effectively. Call Mitel’s education experts at 1-888.545.1708 or email education@mitel.com to learn more about E-Rate or other education solutions.