The Role of Designated Schools

 
A Receive Site “designated” by an EBS Licensee is in effect a recipient of benefits under a federal government program to assist educational institutions. The Federal Communications is deeply concerned about the “Digital Divide” between schools and colleges that have access to broadband Internet service and those that don’t.

The Educational Broadband Service is the regulatory regime under which Clarendon Foundation is licensed to transmit educational programming to accredited institutions. Clarendon Foundation provides free service to public, private and parochial educational institutions. We make an effort to serve private and parochial schools and colleges, which often do have access to free Internet from local cable or DSL operators.

Unlike many government programs, the Receive Site is not required to submit any written reports or keep any records of its usage. While the FCC has oversight of the EBS licensee, and can conduct an audit to verify that it is meeting its regulatory responsibilities, there is no government oversight of the Receive Site’s use of the free broadband access service.

 

How are Receive Site Schools and Colleges Selected

 

Clarendon Foundation usually attempts to locate private and parochial educational institutions in a market, since most public schools already receive free Internet access services from local cable television providers (as required by a franchise agreement with the local government) or telephone companies (as provided by the Universal Service Fund).

Local schools can be located using Internet search engines, particularly the Home Town Locator or the National Center for Educational Statistics. Next a determination is made as to which school buildings are in the market coverage area for the wireless broadband network.

Initial contact is made by telephone to find a contact person, to verify that the educational institutions is accredited, and to exchange website information. This is followed up with a packet of materials, conference calls, and/or personal visits. If the institution accepts Clarendon's invitation, it signs a letter of intended use.

When the wireless broadband network has been constructed and is operational, arrangements are made to connect the institution.

 

Eligibility to Serve as an EBS Receive Site

 
In order to serve as a Receive Site, the school or college must be an accredited institution, and must agree to provide the free Internet access service to students enrolled in courses for academic credit. To indicate its acceptance of the invitation to serve as an EBS Receive Site, the Administrator responsible for curriculum planning will be asked to sign a “Letter of Intended Use.”

The FCC requires an EBS Licensee (such as Clarendon Foundation) to maintain this letter in its files as documentation that it is fulfilling its regulatory responsibilities to provide free broadband services to accredited educational institutions. (By signing the letter, you are NOT assuming any legal or financial obligations.)

If at any time an institution wishes to discontinue serving as a Receive Site, simply send a letter to Clarendon Foundation, and we will arrange for the pick up of any free equipment that you were provided with.

 

If it already has Internet access, why would an institution want another service?

 
There are several reasons why it is beneficial to have wireless broadband access, even if you already have an Internet provider. As explained below, this decision for most institutions is a "no-brainer."
 
Wireless service means you can connect other areas in your facility that have not been connected to the current system, and you can access the service outdoors.
 
Now your school will have a backup provider in case the primary service is off line. Wireless broadband service was operational during some recent hurricanes in Florida.
 
The current trend is that the Internet is becoming more media intensive, meaning that more bandwidth is required. Having a second Internet service.
 
Portable wireless broadband modems can be supplied to your school. These modems could be checked out of your library by students and faculty, who need to work on assignments or projects at home.
 
Schools can use the Internet service for third party applications, such as surveillance or tracking school buses and vehicles. (Any required software, hardware, and technical support are the responsibility of the institution.)
 

No Legal or Financial Obligations

 
Educational institutions will not be required to assume any legal obligations or incur any out-of-pocket expenses in order to be designated as a Receive Site for Clarendon’s broadband wireless Internet access service. Clarendon Foundation has made arrangements for the wireless operator to install, connect, operate, and maintain a state-of-the-art wireless modem with integrated antenna and transceiver at the Receive Site facility, without charge. The modem is a plug-and-play Ethernet device.

There are no software programs to install on users’ computers (except drivers for some computers). The network is compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh-based operating systems. No system configuration is needed.

You can connect the WiMAX modem into an existing local area network (LAN). The free access provided to Receive Sites can be integrated into any existing networks, and it can serve as a backup source of connectivity to the Internet.

Depending upon the size of the institution, a Receive Site may receive multiple modems. Further information

Receive Sites will NOT be charged a monthly subscriber fee for Internet access. Clarendon Foundation assumes all responsibility for lost or damaged equipment.

Note: There are a few “add-on” options, such as Clearwire’s Security Suite ($4.99 per month) or a static IP address from Xanadoo ($4.99 per month), that you can elect to receive, and would be responsible for payment. Note also that Clarendon provides free modems only. It does not provide free computers.

 
Clarendon locates potential Receive Sites by searching for private schools and colleges on the National Center for Educational Statistics website.