Schools and libraries in the U.S. have a good friend in the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism — commonly known as the E-Rate Program. Telecom service providers pay into a universal fund under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission. Under the E-Rate program, this fund subsidizes discounts — more like rebates — that make telecommunications and Internet connectivity possible and affordable, especially in under-privileged or rural areas.
Providing rebates for 20 to 70 percent of the costs of eligible services (depending on the economic and geographic status of the population served), the E-Rate program distributes about $2.25 billion per year to public and non-profit K–12 schools as well as public and private libraries.
Thousands of schools across the U.S. already have Toshiba’s IPedge® and Strata® CIX on-premises business phone systems. Now Toshiba’s VIPedge® cloud-based solution is eligible for the E-Rate program and is available to schools and libraries at a significant discount. In addition, existing Toshiba systems can be networked together for a hybrid solution that connects schools, school districts and libraries into seamless communities.
Schools and libraries have a lot to gain by getting their phone systems from “the cloud.” It already was a good deal, and with E-Rate approval, it’s downright irresistible:
- No need for an on-site phone system. The intelligence of the phone system is securely in the cloud. Think Netflix® instead of a DVD player, or voice mail instead of an answering machine.
- Smooth transition. If you already have a Toshiba phone system, you can network it to VIPedge, or migrate everything to VIPedge. Either way, you’ll save by reusing existing Toshiba IP phones.
- On-demand growth. VIPedge supports up to 500 users in multiple locations. When you add staff or build new schools, just license more users. It’s that simple.
- A truly unified school district. Schools and libraries across the district/region are integrated through a solution that works across locations. No interoperability issues or finger-pointing.
- Easy management. Authorized system administrators can securely manage the VIPedge system from anywhere through a Web portal. Users have control over their own phone features.
- Collaboration, convenience and productivity. Essentially put a desktop phone in your pocket by turning Android™ or iOS® smartphones or tablets into multimedia office productivity tools.
- Unified messaging. Stop checking for messages in multiple places. Voice messages and faxes can land in your email inbox, so you don’t miss important contacts.
- Emergency communications. A situation or outage on site won’t affect your phone server in the cloud, which is protected by disaster recovery tactics. And during a crisis, calls can be automatically forwarded to teacher/staff cell phones or home phones. You stay in touch.
Moving phone services to the cloud is easy. Toshiba and its authorized dealers provide installation, implementation, training and management. You don’t have to buy, house, maintain and upgrade an on-site phone server. You get premium communications for a modest monthly fee per user — made all the more affordable now with substantial E-Rate subsidized discounts.
For more information on the E-Rate program:
E-Rate Program Overview
Schools and Libraries Eligible Services List
E-Rate Program Deadlines
For more Toshiba information, please visit our website at: http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/