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Telecommunications


FCC Seeks Comments on E-rate Changes

For schools that rely on E-rate funding for telecommunications and Internet access, changes are afoot that could impact planning as soon as funding year 2009. The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on potential changes to the E-rate Eligible Services List that in some cases would narrow the list of eligible technologies and in some cases expand it. The notice was filed in the Federal Register Aug. 18, so comments are due in less than a month.

AlertNow Discounts Communications Service for Nebraska Schools

AlertNow has announced that it will be offering its service to all Nebraska Educational Service Unit (ESU) members at a 10 percent discount. The deal, said to be in recognition of an alliance formed July 30 between the company and Nebraska ESU Cooperative Purchasing, will apply to all purchases made prior to July 31, 2009.

Teltronics, GE Security Partner for School IP Communications and Security

Teltronics announced recently that it's been selected by GE Security to provide a new IP-based, secure multimedia platform that will serve as the next generation of the company's StarCall system. Dubbed StarCall iPLUS, the new SIP-compliant, IP-based platform is designed to provide a host of new features designed to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Small California District Installs Cisco Communications Platform

St. Helena Unified School District (SHUSD), located in Northern California, has finished installing a Cisco IP-based unified communications solution that provides voice, video, mobility and presence services to 1,500 K-12 students, their families, and 250 district employees. The district worked with Stamford, CT-based MTM Technologies on the installation, which replaced a seven-year-old PBX that was frequently unreliable. The project took three months to complete.

Skyward Debuts K-12 Mass Notification System

Software developer Skyward has launched a new mass notification system designed specifically for K-12 schools. Dubbed Skylert, the system is also designed to integrate with Skyward's Family Access system.

iPhone 3G, New Mobile Apps Debut at Apple WWDC 2008

During his keynote address at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) Monday, CEO Steve Jobs debuted the company's new iPhone 3G, an update to the popular mobile phone and computing device set for delivery July 11. Developers also took the stage during the keynote to show off new technologies arriving for the platform.

Siemens To Provide Backbone for PosTrack Hosted VoIP

PosTrack Technologies has signed Siemens Communications to provide the backbone for PosTrack's hosted VoIP solutions for K-12 and higher education. PosTrack will use Siemens' OpenScape Voice and HiPath MobileConnect technologies to deliver unified communications and mobile capabilities for schools.

Apple To Add Exchange Support to iPhones

Is Apple acknowledging the power and ubiquity of Microsoft's messaging platform? That might be a stretch, but the company has announced a forthcoming update to its iPhone 2.0 software, which will include built-in support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync.

Mobile Broadband Internet Use Growing Dramatically

The number of computers using mobile broadband technology to access the Internet grew by 154 percent in the 4th quarter of 2007 versus the same period in 2006, according to comScore, a research firm. comScore, which measures online behavior, said the total number of computers going online through mobile broadband technology grew to 2.1 million from 854,000.

Case Study: Bloomfield SD's Migration to Broadband and VoIP

As the IT director for Bloomfield School District in New Mexico, I faced a major challenge with our infrastructure when it came time to upgrade our network and voice systems to meet our educational and technological objectives. The district, with 10 administrative and school sites, is located in a rural area of northwestern portion of the state, which limited the alternatives available to us. Its network was based on T1 connections, and the bandwidth would not support the education initiatives of the district. It was also very expensive, costing us about $5,900 each month.

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