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Education Sector Turns to the ICN for Internet and Data

Schools and libraries are continuing to use the FCC’s E-Rate program to help keep their sites connected. According to the website Funds for Learning, “In Funding Year 2022, E-rate applicants requested discounts on Internet and data services which will be delivered to 130,634 individual school and library locations nationwide.”

ICN is gearing up to deploy Internet and data services for the 2022-2023 school year, which are required to be active by July 1. Below are some E-rate highlights.

  • ICN was listed as the service provider for 163 awards.
  • Many users maintained their same Internet speed or requested to increase their bandwidth connections.
  • Funding requests are for services between the ranges of 1 Gigabit to 3 Gigabits and above. 
  • Users that select the ICN as their service provider are connected to Internet2 resources. ICN is Iowa’s only authorized Research & Education Network providing our education users exclusive access to Internet2 services and educational resources.
  • Users are requesting a set price for consistency by signing a multi-year contract.
  • Schools also requested firewall security service.

The E-rate funding provides discounts towards eligible telecommunications services. There are two E-rate categories of funding available for eligible services: Category 1 services include Internet and Ethernet connections (data) and Category 2 services include hardware devices, managed service costs, firewalls, etc. To receive discounts, K-12 schools and libraries are required to use competitive bidding and award service based upon best value (primarily cost). Authorized users are not required to use the ICN for services, but even with the competitive process, ICN continues to be a key Internet Service Provider for the K-12 educational community.

For the next funding cycle, we will be offering our new Cloud Connect service, which has Express routes available for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft Azure. This direct transport service is safe, private, and secure for cloud applications. If you want more information about our Cloud Connect service contact your account consultant.

ICN has participated in the E-rate program since 2001, helping Iowa's schools and libraries stay connected, saving over $125 million.

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