E-RateForSchools utilizes Link Balancer technology to help schools satisfy growing demands for Internet bandwidth and address Internet outage risks while giving the school greater flexibility to mix and match the best Internet Provider value and service.

Schools continue to increase both their dependency on the Internet and the amount of bandwidth required to service their e-rate eligible internal connection devices. As cloud based technologies like hosted e-mail, web centric learning tools continue to grow, and VoIP becomes more popular, the business impact of an outage moves from a low impact problem to a high impact problem. This creates a demand for solutions that economically and easily allow a school to increase Internet capacity, reduce circuit outage risks, or even change Internet suppliers with minimum efforts, costs, and downtime.

A Link Balancer keeps you connected.

A special type of switching device called a Link Balancer is a technology that allows schools to easily and economically add bandwidth from the best fit Internet Provider and simultaneously solve business continuity or outage problems associated with a single Internet source. A Link Balancer allows a school to aggregate or simultaneously use two or more Internet circuits to meet the needs of Internet capacity growth. This e-rate eligible device is both economical and practical, providing the following benefits:

  • Allows schools to add bandwidth from the most economical and diverse sources independent of technology or provider (T-1, cable, fiber, DSL, wireless…) Often two or three different technologies provide more bandwidth, more redundancy, and lower costs than a single pipe.

  • Protects schools from construction “dig” outages by allowing them to intentionally mix wired and wireless Internet Providers.

  • Insulates schools from performance problems on a given Internet circuit.

  • Reduces the dependency on tedious and uncontrollable provisioning schedules that are associated with provisioning a new Internet Provider by maintaining more than one active Internet circuit

  • Eliminates the costs, downtime, and headaches associated with the process of changing statically assigned IP numbers to your servers and PBX when changing from one Internet Provider to another.

  • Improves the schools’ position if it ever has to negotiate with an ISP over a service or billing issue

From our research, testing, and customer feedback, preferred vendors for this solution include: Elfiq Networks