Introduction to Receive Site Support 
Educational Broadband Service: A Program of the FCC

 

This material is for educational institutions and other noncommercial entities that have been invited by Clarendon to serve as a “Receive Site” on its broadband wireless Internet access network in its community. Clarendon has entered into a spectrum leasing arrangement with a wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), and it leases its broadcast spectrum in return for free Business Level service and free equipment for local accredited educational institutions, which agree to use the network to fulfil their educational mission. The free service is being provided under a government program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), referred to as the Educational Broadband Service (EBS).

Clarendon, as an EBS license holder, is required by FCC regulations to provide free service to local accredited educational institutions for use by students enrolled in courses for academic credit. The offer of free equipment and service sounds like it is “too good to be true,” especially for schools and colleges that are deluged with “offers” by companies that really want to sell something to the institution.

This program is different, because (1) it is from a nonprofit organization that has no profit motive, (2) it is mandated by an agency of the federal government as a condition of holding an education broadcast license, and (3) there are no contracts or invoices to sign. Since the institution does not sign any agreements, it can never be billed for anything, not even equipment repair. Even though the service is provided by a wireless Internet Service Provider, it is done so on behalf of the EBS Licensee. The Receive Site’s relationship is with Clarendon Foundation, not the wireless company.

The only requirement for serving as a receive site is to send a “Letter of Intended Use” [Insert Link to Letter] to Clarendon Foundation, which gives the letter to the FCC in order to show that the minimum educational use requirements are being met. There are no other reporting requirements or paperwork for Receive Sites.

Here’s the bottom line: If it did not provide the free service and free equipment to local accredited educational institutions, Clarendon Foundation would not be eligible to hold an educational broadcast license. Regulatory references for the educational use requirements are provided below.

 

Statutory Requirements for Educational Use

Code of Federal Regulations 
Title 47: Telecommunications
Part 27- Miscellaneous Wireless Communications Services

 

§ 27.1201 EBS eligibility.

(a) A license for an Educational Broadband Service station will be issued only to an accredited institution or to a governmental organization engaged in the formal education of enrolled students or to a nonprofit organization whose purposes are educational and include providing educational and instructional television material to such accredited institutions and governmental organizations, and which is otherwise qualified under the statutory provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

(1) A publicly supported educational institution must be accredited by the appropriate State department of education.

(2) A privately controlled educational institution must be accredited by the appropriate State department of education or the recognized regional and national accrediting organizations.

(3) Those applicant organizations whose eligibility is established by service to accredited institutional or governmental organizations must submit documentation from proposed receive sites demonstrating that they will receive and use the applicant's educational usage….

Documentation from proposed receive sites which are to establish the eligibility of an entity not serving its own enrolled students for credit should be in letter form, written and signed by an administrator or authority who is responsible for the receive site's curriculum planning.

No receive site more than 35 miles from the proposed station's central reference point, or outside the applicants' proposed GSA, shall be used to establish basic eligibility.

Where broadband or data services are proposed, the letter should indicate that the data services will be used in furtherance of the institution's educational mission and will be provided to enrolled students, faculty and staff in a manner and in a setting conducive to educational usage…. If other levels of authority must be obtained before a firm commitment to utilize the service can be made, the nature and extent of such additional authorization(s) must be provided.

[69 FR 72034, Dec. 10, 2004, as amended at 71 FR 35190, June 19, 2006; 73 FR 26040, May 8, 2008]

Clarendon’s educational broadcast spectrum is being used to deploy broadband wireless Internet access networks in markets all over the United States. This next generation broadband technology is capable of providing integrated access to high-speed data, voice, video on demand, and interactive delivery services via the Internet.

For more information about the wireless broadband technology, please refer to the WiMAX tab on this website. Some of the networks are being operated on proprietary platforms that are referred to as "pre-WiMAX" systems. The capabilities of WiMAX and pre-WiMAX are very similar. It is anticipated that most of the pre-WiMAX networks will migrate to the WiMAX standard, which may only require an upgrade of the modem software.

 

Benefits for Students, Faculty, and Staff

An educational institution that is accredited by a state or regional board qualifies to serve as a Receive Site. Public, private, and parochial schools (K-12) and colleges are all eligible to participate in the EBS program. 

The only obligation that Receive Sites have is to use the free Internet access for educational purposes. This is accomplished by simply making the broadband wireless Internet access available to students enrolled in classes for academic credit.

Clarendon Foundation has allocated five percent of the bandwidth on its channels to provide local educational institutions participating in the network with fixed and mobile high-speed computer access to the Internet. Receive Sites will have constant connectivity to the network (24-hours per day, 365 days per year). Students, staff, and faculty will be able to upload and download computer files, send and receive email, view interactive presentations, and transmit administrative traffic. 

Receive Site students, who are enrolled in courses for credit, will have full access through the wireless broadband network to the online interactive educational content and other resources that are available on the World Wide Web. A Receive Site institution will be able to incorporate the educational content retrieved from the network into its formal curricula for Science, Mathematics, English, Literature, Art, Music, and Social Studies, according to its needs.

Receive Sites will also be able to utilize the free wireless Internet service to obtain online cultural enrichment materials for students, to access professional development resources for faculty, and to provide access to administrative traffic for staff.

 

Support for Receive Sites

Receive Sites are treated as subscribers by the wireless Internet Service provider, and will receive the technical support needed to connect to the network and receive service. Receive Sites can contact Clarendon Foundation directly for help with any non-technical problems, questions, or issues encountered. The Foundation will serve as the intermediary between the Receive Site and wireless operator, as needed.