PBS Videoconference on the E-Rate (fwd)

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:11:00 -0800 (PST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:16:34 -0500
From: Kevin Taglang <kevint@BENTON.ORG>
Reply-To: lists@BENTON.ORG
Subject: PBS Videoconference on the E-Rate

Shannon Harton (shannon@convg.com)
Convergence Services, Inc., (703) 548-0011

CoSN Supports Live
PBS Videoconference on the E-Rate

PBS to Distribute Interactive Videoconference on Local Implementation of
New Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries

WASHINGTON (February 2,1998)-CoSN has joined the rest of Washington's major
educational associations in endorsing a satellite videoconference being
produced by Convergence Services, Inc. and distributed by PBS. CoSN
members are offered a significantly discounted license for downlinking the

"E-Rate: the Implementation," a live and interactive program to air March
26 from 1-2:30 pm ET, will provide education administrators and
technologists with guidelines for securing their part of the $2.25 billion
in discounts on telecommunications services, established by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Based on lessons to be learned from during
the first round of discounted procurements in early 1998, the program will
examine strategies for achieving the greatest cost reduction through
aggregation of demand. It will also explore strategies for bundling
discounts with other "ed-tech" funding sources, such as the new National
Technology Literacy Program. In short, it will help ensure that education
institutions and libraries receive the maximum discounts to which they are

This videoconference couldn't happen at more opportune time. Although the
FCC and its E-Rate administrator, the Schools and Libraries Corporation
(SLC), hoped to have the program in place by this fall, the paperwork and
administrative processes were just finalized this month. Many questions on
eligible equipment and consortia may not be definitively answered until
well into the year. By the March program, all the questions should be laid
to rest and all administrative procedures should be well defined.
Educators and technology planners will find out what kinds of services have
been requested, how much of the fund has been committed and what can be
learned from the first months of the program.

Panelists will include Ira Fishman, SLC CEO, SLC Chairman K.G. Ouye, SLC
board member Brian Talbott, and Cheryl Lemke, Vice President for
Educational Technology at the Milken Family Foundation.

"E-Rate: the Implementation" follows-up on the hugely successful PBS
broadcast "Maximizing Your E-Rate," produced by Convergence Services in
June, 1997. That program was licensed and downlinked at nearly 1000
viewing sites across the U.S.

Convergence Services, Inc., is an Alexandria, VA-based consulting firm that
specializes in helping plan, fund, and gain legislative support for
educational technology programs around the nation. The company has
produced three videoconferences in association with PBS, two of which
enjoyed the highest licensing pick-up of their seasons.

For information on licensing downlinks for E-Rate: the Implementation or
locating licensed viewing sites, contact local public television stations
or call PBS Customer Service at (800) 257-2578, or visit the PBS website at


Shannon Harton
Communication Director
Convergence Services, Inc.
1215 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

tel 703-548-0011
fax 703-548-0726

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