Tech Tuesday – KanEd & T-1s

As you may have heard, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill reducing Kan-ed’s funding. Between now and June 30, 2013 all libraries, schools, and hospitals currently connected to the Kan-Ed network via T-1 lines will need to transition to local Internet providers (ISP/Commercial internet). Because this change-over is happening in the middle of the E-Rate funding cycle, the legislation allows Kan-Ed to pay up to $350 per month for each T-1 connection replaced with a local provider until the start of the 2013 e-Rate funding cycle.

Kan-ed will soon start the process of disconnecting T-1’s beginning with locations that don’t use the T-1 much or whose 3-year contracts for the connections are ready to expire. Kan-Ed staff will be contacting members directly to facilitate this process.

Kan-Ed has also been asked to complete a broadband Internet needs assessment to be given to the Senate Utilities committee by January 1, 2013. This assessment will be done at the request of the libraries. It is important that the legislature knows the Internet needs of Kansas libraries. Please contact Kan-Ed to participate in the assessment. The Department of Commerce will conduct the assessment, and their report may influence future funding. Kan-ed may be reached at 785-296-0843.

What libraries need to do:
1. If the library has an existing connection in addition to the T-1, contact the ISP providing the line to find out what options are available for connection speeds, both download and upload, and the costs. NCKL staff can help you determine which speed/cost best suits your library’s needs.

2. If your library only has a T-1 connection, call ISPs that serve your community and get the information mentioned above as well as any installation fees, contracts or contract discounts.

3. In the library’s 2013 budget, which you all are working on now, libraries need to budget for about 50% of the cost of the local Internet connection. For 2013, libraries should budget for at least 6 months of the year. For 2014 and beyond, budget the amount for the full year.

4. Attend the online training offered by Kan-Ed on what you need to do to begin the E-rate process.

Questions for ISP:
We’ve created a PDF with tables to help organize information from Internet Service Providers (ISP) in order to compare services and price. This is also a step in the E-Rate process.

1. What type of connection do they provide—DSL, Wireless, Cable, T-1, other?

2. What is the download speed for that connection? They may offer several options, such as 3mbps, 6mbps or 10mbps.

3. What is the upload speed for the connection? They may also offer several options here , such as 512 kbps, 1mbps, or more.

4. What is the cost for each speed of connection?

5. Is there a charge for installation?

6. Is there a discount for a multi-year contract?

7. Is there an option for a business connection that gives priority for tech support?

8. Do they offer a static IP, if so what is the cost?

It is OK to ask the salesperson to explain their options in a way that you really understand. If they go too fast or gloss over a question don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Remember, you are the customer.

Once this information is gathered the NCKLS tech staff can assist each library to determine the best option. It would benefit the library to complete this task before the end of June as Kan-Ed will begin disconnecting connections soon.

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