Hosted VoIP for Education
E-Rate Funds for Schools and Libraries
Service Provider of E-Rate Services
The E-Rate program allows eligible Schools and Libraries to receive funding of 20-90% for new and existing network and telecommunications services. E-Rate discounts are based on the percentage of students eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program and the degree to which they may be considered urban or rural.
Carolina Digital Phone, as a qualified Service Provider licensed by the FCC, has a dedicated sales consultants to help with with K-12 education services, offers full service access to telecommunications services (commonly referred to as Interconnected-VoIP Services). These VoIP service offers make it possible to achieve the rich teaching and learning environment needed in schools and libraries. For these institutions to provide the high level of service necessary for their students to participate fully in American society, operational costs can be overwhelming. Telecommunications costs, including Hosted Interconnected VoIP services and Internet access, as well as the hardware needed to assemble local networks, and the maintenance of these systems and machines can stretch budgets that are already under stress. The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help most schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.
School and Library Eligibility
Schools and libraries must meet statutory definitions to be eligible for Schools and Libraries Program support. For purposes of universal service fund (USF) support, schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. § 7801(18) and (38)):
- An elementary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.
- A secondary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that such term does not include any education beyond grade 12.
- Schools operating as for-profit businesses or that have endowments exceeding $50 million are not eligible.
- In many cases, non-traditional facilities and students may be eligible.
- Specific eligibility of Head Start, pre-kindergarten, juvenile justice, and adult education student populations and facilities, can be found under Non-traditional Education.
- An Educational Service Agency (ESA), which may operate owned or leased instructional facilities, may be eligible for Schools and Libraries Program support if it provides elementary or secondary education as defined in state law.
Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (Pub. L. 104-208) (LSTA) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act. A library includes:
- A public library
- A public elementary school or secondary school library
- An academic library
- A research library, which for the purposes of this definition means a library that: makes publicly available library services and material suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public; and is not an integral part of an institution of higher education
- A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of this definition
- A library’s eligibility for support also depends on its funding as an independent entity. Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities) shall be eligible to receive discounted services.
Important changes to E-Rate for 2015-2016
Since 1997, the federal government has subsidized communications connectivity services for phone and Internet in K12 schools and libraries, providing discounts of 20 to 90 percent based on financial need. Now, E-Rate subsidies for VoIP are gradually phasing out, but if districts act now, they can reap the benefits of a modern and scalable voice infrastructure. The time is now to upgrade communications solutions. In 2015, the amount of discount available for eligible schools and libraries for VoIP-related services is being cut by 20 percent and will be cut every year thereafter until it’s eliminated entirely in 2019. Act now to reap the benefits of a modern and scalable voice infrastructure.
LIBRARY AND SCHOOL EXAMPLES An elementary school library is only eligible to receive discounted services if its budget is completely separate from the elementary school. If its budget is not completely separate from the elementary school, the elementary school library is not eligible for support independent from the school with which it is associated.
DEDICATED E-RATE SPECIALIST Carolina Digital Phone, with their dedicated staff of specialists, will work with you on E-Rate Funding and will work with the Universal Service Administrative Company as you get funding for your projects. Our E-Rate specialists have many years of experience in E-Rate funding, implementation and deployment. You may contact an E-Rate specialist by calling (336) 544-4000.
In 2017 Carolina Digital Phone will be rebranding ourselves name to better represent our nationwide coverage of our services as DigitalPhone.io. Deciding on a name that represented our company, mission, and values was not an easy undertaking. After dozens of brainstorming sessions, whiteboard lunches, and late nights with the team, we selected “DigitalPhone.io” for several reasons.
The “Digital Phone” part of our name represents the Digital Technology Age we represent in the Telephone industry: helping our clients grow their unified messaging with Cloud-based Technology. We are the experts in Telephone services and merging this service into a digital cloud-based platform that is a major part of how we innovate for our clients.
The “io” piece represents input and output, which is at the core of our company values. We actively seek our clients’ input on how we can better enhance our platform our output to meet their needs. This leads to better, more efficient output of features and services that serve our clients’ needs more effectively. We took it because it refers to ‘input-output’. And our clients (mostly tech savvy people) understand it like so. While we are not a start up company, the .io top level domain has become a popular alternative for startups. Our company started in 2000 with deep roots in the internet server hosting and cloud-based services find ourselves rebranding ourselves based on the new more advanced technologies we are offering today as we did not offer 17 years ago.
For us, DigitalPhone.io was future-minded, much like our platform, culture, and clients. We are passionate about creating the most innovative communications and technology services and digital platform, that will provide services for or clients for many years to come.
Why does it matter?
It matters because everything we are – from our name to our solutions – is focused on bringing you the best and most innovative technologies available.
Our name changed to better reflect our growing role in the unified communications and digital telephone communications from your desktop, notebook or smartphone device. We are proud of our influence in the communications and technology industries and are well-positioned to reach additional markets, helping new clients in need superior technologies.
We are thrilled that our brand is now fully aligned with our mission and values. We look forward to sharing more as we continue to provide the best solutions and care for our clients.
Thank you for being a part of this change with us – we’re excited about the future it holds.
Nicky Smith, CEO of DigitalPhone.io
Curious about which other companies changed their name?
Here are a few that may surprise you:
- BackRub to Google
- Andersen Consulting to Accenture
- Datsun to Nissan
- AuctionWeb to Ebay
- Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike
- Peter’s Super Submarines to Subway
- Sound of Music to Best Buy
- Sound Around to Walkman
Who we are
We are a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provide products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony while reducing your overall cost. Our offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment and the many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with your existing landlines, cell phones or VoIP phones. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Carolina Digital Phone, your staff and teachers, whether in one location or far-away, can focus on serving your students while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike. Carolina Digital Phone, a locally owned hosted PBX provider of high quality VoIP services based in Greensboro, North Carolina. IP-based, broadband telephone service delivers the excellent advantage of not requiring other lines or wire being hooked up directly. You already have high-speed internet access, now you can harness that power with a hosted PBX system. Services are available Nationwide. Our service partners include Level 3 Communications, Earthlink Carrier, Sprint and AT&T. If you have questions about our services, please call us first. If by email send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within one business day.