Mosaic451 Offers Tips, Services and Dedicated Site for Securing E-rate Funds
April 1 Last Date to File and Certify Forms
PHOENIX, March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mosaic451, a cybersecurity services provider and consultancy that specializes in K-12 education security, today announced it has the personnel and resources available to help districts procure E-rate funding.
Since its inception almost two decades ago, the federal E-rate program has allocated about $30 billion to cash-strapped K-12 schools, libraries and school districts to ensure these facilities have affordable broadband access, telecommunications, and Internet services. Educators can take advantage of deep discounts to purchase the needed technology and solutions through E-rate. However, filing for funding can be challenging, and many districts do not even apply because they feel the process is too cumbersome.
Mosaic451 provides a turnkey approach, offering hardware and/or managed services, as well as the technical resources of executives with more than 20 years in the K-12 sector to educators who have secured funding. The company can provide E-rate eligible services and equipment for a wide variety of projects including firewalls, wireless projects and network switching and security.
"E-rate applicants still have time to file the necessary forms to participate in the E-rate program. April 1, 2016 is the last possible date to file and certify a FCC Form 470 on USAC's website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit an FCC Form 471 on the filing window closing date," said Chris Squatritto, Vice President at Mosaic451.
"The best way to understand what's new, what's required, and what's changed is to read the E-rate Modernization Orders, which are available on the website of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the government body that manages the E-rate program," said Squatritto.
Even though there's $3.9 billion of funding available, E-rate dollars do not flow as grants to schools and libraries, but rather provide discounts on products and services. It's critical to understand early how much of a discount a district will receive. Schools that apply first get reviewed first. If the application is filed correctly, they will receive funding in the first round of approvals. And deadlines are exactly that, a late application is a guarantee a school will lose out.
"Some districts have lost funding by making seemingly harmless mistakes such as accepting gifts or swag from vendors trying to win a contract for services. Any gifts totaling more than $30 from a source, or $21 for an event, can jeopardize funding," Squatritto said.
Applicants also need to understand the categories they are applying for. Schools can't have "redundant services" of technology that's already in place. Compliance also matters. E-rate applicants must show they have plans to obtain the resources to carry out their E-rate plans.
E-rate does not require schools to have an approved technology plan to get funded, but a five-year plan is wise. For Category II services, schools get $150 per student discounts and libraries get $2.30 a square foot on 5-year budgets. Any extra money can be rolled over to the next funding year.
The first step is filing a Form 470 (available at the USAC web site), where a school describes the services it wants. A request for proposal (RFP) may also be prepared at this time. The school selects a service provider and then completes the remaining steps, which include a program integrity assurance review.
"Schools are not committed to a particular MSP or service provider, however since Mosaic451 specializes educational technology and E-rate funding we can ensure the best delivery of compliant services," Squatritto said.
For more information on E-rate funding and Mosaic451 see:
Recently named 'Top 10 Managed Security Service Providers 2015' by CSO Outlook, Mosaic451 is a bespoke cyber security service provider and consultancy. Our organization has specific expertise in building, operating and defending some of the most highly-secure networks in North America. Unlike others, we are not peddlers of magic; technology alone cannot fully protect our clients' data, networks, or interests. Technology, if deployed correctly, is a force multiplier for intelligent humans. Mosaic451 aggregates and empowers intelligent humans in the service of information security and IT operations excellence for our clients.
For more information, visit www.mosaic451.com.
Media Contact: Len Fernandes, 1-888-317-4687 ext. 702, Email
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