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National Joint Powers Alliance Awards E-rate Contract to CDW-G

A large buying organization that serves education and government agencies has signed a deal with CDW-Government to simplify the process of purchasing technology and professional services that qualify for E-rate discounts. The National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), which has 40,000 member agencies, said the contract will enable its public school, public library, and Head Start program members to purchase E-rate-eligible technology, including professional services for delivery and installation, directly from CDW-G.

E-rate is a federal program under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission to help schools and libraries fund the acquisition and deployment of telecommunications services, Internet access, and internal data communications. In the latest fiscal year $2.25 billion was allocated through E-rate.

This isn't the first purchase agreement between the two organizations. In December 2010, NJPA announced a contract with CDW-G for computer technology, equipment, and supplies for all members. The latest agreement, however, had to adhere to the bidding guidelines set forth by the Universal Service Administrative Company, which manages the E-rate program. In a statement, NJPA said its first such national E-rate contract went to CDW-G based on the company's experience with E-rate and its "ability to provide quality telecommunications services, internal connections and Internet connectivity at a competitive price."

"Through this contract, NJPA members will benefit from CDW-G's experience and success with the E-rate process, its key manufacturer relationships and its ability to provide quality telecommunications services, internal connections and Internet connectivity at a competitive price," said Mike Hajek, NJPA's director of contracts & marketing.

"Now, because NJPA is providing the bid and award on behalf of its E-rate-eligible membership, members can save significant time and resources that they would otherwise devote to the bidding and award process, from writing and reviewing bids to finalizing contracts," added Julie Smith, vice president of K-12 education for CDW-G.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.