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James -- It sounds like the schools are contracting with the CN to provide
network services, and thereby help support the CN.  Did I read this
correctly?  Do you offer dial-up access to the general public?  Wally
Bowen

On Mon, 9 Nov 1998, James Fischer wrote:

>         I do not think that the E-Rate rules allow a school to
>         "get into the network business", and offer services to
>         the public, since the E-Rate game presumes that they are
>         using the funding to meet their own needs, not the needs
>         of others.
>
>         I do know that schools (and libraries) may JOIN and
>         COOPERATE with a community network, and use E-Rate
>         dollars to pay for the costs of supporting the
>         schools.
>
>         In Bedford and Franklin Counties VA, we (the Bedford
>         Advanced Technology Test Lab Effort) manage the technical
>         end of such a community network, involving city and
>         county governments, two county school systems, libraries,
>         two different cable-TV systems (we use cablemodems),
>         and businesses that wish to take advantage of higher
>         bandwidth, better uptime, and  better service.
>
>         The effort started out small, and was undertaken as
>         a "debt to the community", but now it includes miles
>         of fiber, miles of coax, dozens of routers, hundreds
>         of sites supported, and several full-time staff workers.
>
>         In our case, the schools are clearly not the "network
>         providers", due to a lack of skilled staff who know
>         about servers and routers and such.  They are "users",
>         but have their own proxy servers, local mail servers,
>         and other dedicated resources which they are learning
>         to manage themselves, since 10,000 students can be a
>         significant network and administrative load at times.
>
>         Is this "community networking"?  Clearly, yes.
>         Is it a "freenet"?  No, one must pay to use it.
>         Are E-Rate dollars mis-used?  No, the schools use
>         them to simply pay for the services that they buy
>         from the network.  Is everyone happy?  The network
>         status map is "all green".
>
> I would rather be in a den of iniquity than this din of inequity
>
>     james fischer                     [log in to unmask]
>