ERate Caching Servers from Discover Video

Bring Classrooms to Life in Economically Challenged K-12 Schools

E-Rate has provided billions of dollars over the past decade to K-12 schools and libraries to help fund technology in the classrooms. IDSolutions has been at the forefront of the program providing millions of dollars worth of distance learning solutions across the nation.

URGENT NOTE: The E-Rate program has undergone significant changes that have eliminated funding for much of the previously eligible Distance Learning video equipment. However, a new device called a caching server has been added to the eligibility list.

A caching server can cache (or store) specific content types (a web page, a video, a document, etc.) which we call application layer content or it can store just raw packets which we call data layer content (application neutral).

If a classroom is accessing content from the Internet and it is the exact content that other classrooms might also access, this is an eligible use for the caching server.

In this case the content will only be coming from the Internet once but might be distributed to multiple classrooms/users thus preventing an Internet connection from being used to bring in multiple copies of the exact same content (and thus saving bandwidth). Another way of looking at it is a single source to multiple destinations.

Specific examples of caching server use in schools:

  • Web content such as a web page from the Smithsonian Institute on dinosaurs that is popular and accessed by multiple teachers
  • A document or graphical image being shared by a teacher in one school with multiple teachers in another school
  • A guest speaker giving a live remote field trip overview from NASA to students in multiple classrooms

In every case above, the content gets cached once and delivered to multiple classrooms and in each case the school is saving on Broadband bandwidth by using a caching server.

This has indeed been discussed with USAC through the E-Rate Ombudsman and they have indicated that this statement is accurate. IDS is currently working with Discover Video and offers their DEVOS caching platform as a caching server in alignment with these new guidelines.

Click here to view the E-Rate Caching Server datasheet