Mediacom Business is looking to take advantage of a Federal Communications Commission initiative to help boost wireless Internet connectivity in rural schools and libraries across the country, using its fber-optic high-speed data products, Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions.
In July, the FCC approved a plan to modernize the $2.4 billion E-Rate Internet initiative by allocating an additional $2 billion to the program to support WiFi over the next two years. For the following three years, the program will target $1 billion annually to Wi-Fi – while continuing to ensure funding is available for broadband connectivity to schools and libraries – by phasing out support for non-broadband services, such as pagers and phones. In total, the program improvements will target an additional $5 billion for Wi-Fi over the next five years, delivering WiFi to an additional 10 million students in 2015 alone, according to the FCC.
Mediacom already has identified local institutions that could benefit from partnering with the cable company, according to Mediacom Business senior vice president Dan Templin.
“Approximately 1,000 schools in the communities we serve have access to the Internet over our high-capacity fiber network,” Templin said in a statement. “We have a unique ability to scale broadband to the exact requirements of each individual school, and the expertise to manage and monitor these services around the clock.”
One example is Brewton, Ala., a community of 6,000 people about 85 miles north of Mobile, which uses the Gigabit service to provide high-speed Internet access to its schools.
“We couldn’t do anything with e-learning or distance learning without fiber, and we would max out any connection that’s less than a fiber connection pretty quickly,” said Brewton City Schools technology coordinator Brad Dehoff in a statement.” The benefits are very affordable and expandable. Mediacom Business maintains our network. When there’s a problem or need, we just call them, and they’re here with trained technicians.”