Earlier this month, Barry Newberger, a US-based Sales Director at Telco Systems, was one of over 100 professionals representing 78 companies who attended the Federation of Internet Service Providers of America (FISPA) annual meeting in New Orleans.
FISPA supports the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States and supports all providers from Tier 1, regional competitive local exchange companies (CLECs), regional independent operating companies and municipalities, and independent providers.
Among the many workshops at the event, there was an E-Rate panel discussion hosted by the current FISPA president, Jason Hunt, CEO of Hunt Telecom. Driven by aggressive pricing strategies and premier customer service and support, Telco Systems has had great success in helping our service provider partners with E-rate, and hence the reason we were asked to participate in the E-Rate panel.
Barry was chosen as a panel member because of his vast knowledge of the telecommunications industry and his experience in helping his service provider partners successfully win E-Rate projects since the programs beginning in 1996. His remarks addressed the E-Rate program from a vendor/equipment providers’ perspective.
A Word on E-Rate
Realizing the importance of affordable, high-speed Internet availability in schools and libraries, Congress and the FCC implemented the E-Rate program to provide discounted telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries, funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF).
Funding may be requested under four categories of service via the E-Rate Program:
- telecommunications services
- Internet access
- internal connections/networking infrastructures
- basic maintenance of internal connections
Here’s a couple of good links concerning E-Rate, for background and what’s happening now. The second one is particularly interesting in that it talks about the new FCC Chairman’s work to overhaul the whole program and implementing E-Rate 2.0.
Founded in 1996, FISPA continues to provide leadership in helping small- and mid-sized CLECs & Service Providers compete against and work with incumbent carriers to ensure a better business model to increase our members’ probability for success.
FISPA fun facts:
- FISPA has 240 members, growing each year since 1977
- FISPA’s buying group programs with telecom providers exceeds $10M/year in month recurring charges
- FISPA’s meetings represent the industry’s focus and market opportunities
- FISPA meeting detail since 2011 can be seen at http://fispalive.com/past-meetings/
- FISPA’s remaining 2015 meetings are June in Atlanta, and October in conjunction with CompTel Plus in San Francisco
- To learn more visit www.fispa.org
Request a meeting to learn how Telco Systems can provide you with a solution to meet the needs of your E-Rate projects.