Extreme Networks Expands E-Rate Portfolio to Bridge K-12 Connectivity Gap in the US

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  January 25, 2024

Technology continues to permeate educational environments – the integration of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), smartboards and robotics into classrooms' curricula. Therefore, educational institutions must ensure that their network systems can effectively accommodate these diverse technological applications. It is crucial for the network infrastructure to be manageable and easy to troubleshoot, particularly for schools with limited IT resources.

Extreme Networks understands the critical role technology plays in modern education, so Extreme Networks (News - Alert) announced an extensive expansion of its E-Rate eligible solutions for K-12 schools and public libraries across the U.S.

This move is a strategic push to equip educational institutions with robust and affordable networking infrastructure to help address the persistent digital divide faced by many schools and libraries.

All Extreme Wi-Fi access points and Universal switches are eligible for E-Rate. These devices deliver high-bandwidth Wi-Fi solutions designed for indoor and outdoor use, as well as powerful switching solutions for secure wired connectivity.

Eligible access points include the AP3000, which is designed to provide optimized Wi-Fi 6E performance in classrooms with tight corners or auditoriums with high ceilings while drawing just 13.9W of power, helping schools and libraries save on costs and meet environmental requirements.

Also, schools and libraries must have the ability to deliver services to a continuously increasing number of distributed students and users, as many now offer permanent hybrid learning options or remote library programming. ExtremeCloud SD-WAN is an E-Rate eligible solution that will deliver optimal application performance and secure user access no matter where users are located. 

ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot also delivers AIOps support and digital twin capabilities to help IT teams identify and resolve problems before they interrupt student learning and shaving weeks or months off standard network deployment timelines, creating a faster time to ROI. These eligible solutions can be combined with other ExtremeCloud solutions like Universal ZTNA, which helps prevent costly breaches and provides a foundational layer of network security.

Extreme also offers expert support in navigating the application process through the E-Rate Resource Center, which includes eligibility guidelines, webinars, eBooks and other valuable resources. For support beyond the E-Rate process, all Extreme customers can access the Global Technical Assistance Center (GTAC) for 24/7/365 technical support.

“E-Rate is necessary to help bridge the digital divide and increase the resources available to our customers,” said Norman Rice, Chief Commercial Officer, Extreme Networks. “The program makes it possible for Extreme to provide the network foundation for educational programs that will give students the experience and knowledge necessary to succeed in today's technology-driven world.”

With this move, Extreme Networks is on course to foster a more connected and equitable learning environment for all students and educators. Sure, challenges will remain, but the potential impact of this initiative on the future of K-12 education is undeniable.

Edited by Alex Passett
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