California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 37, No. 3
April-May, 1997

Pacific Bell adds Primary Rate ISDN to Existing Free Offer to Schools and Libraries

Program Expansion: Pacific Bell further enhances Education First.

Pacific Telesis Internet News Service

On March 18, 1997, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Pacific Bell's request to further enhance its Education First offer to California schools and libraries by allowing Pacific Bell to offer Primary Rate ISDN (PRI). PRI will make Internet access easier and even more affordable for California schools and libraries participating in Pacific Bell's Education First program.

Currently, schools and libraries can request up to five free basic rate ISDN lines as part of the Education First program. One of these lines is used to connect a school to its district or county education office, where Internet traffic is aggregated and then dispersed via a "bigger pipe" to the Internet. The Education First offer, which includes one year of ISDN service, will now include PRI and the T1 line at these aggregation points, or "hubs." Since less equipment is required, PRI is a more efficient and cost-effective way for schools and libraries to explore the information superhighway.

The goal of Pacific Bell Education First initiative is to help ensure that every school and library in California has a digital on-ramp to the information superhighway by the year 2000. The program offers free installation and one year free service of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), along with technology workshops for teachers and librarians, assistance with curriculum development and discounts on equipment. After the first free year of usage, Education First institutions also are eligible for Pacific Bell's Universal Service discount.

To date, Education First has wired more than 3,000 schools and libraries with high-speed digital lines. Another 1,800 schools are connected to the information superhighway using other digital services from Pacific Bell. Schools interested in signing up for the Education First offer should call 1-800-901-2210 before December 31, 1997 to apply for the program. Pacific Bell is a subsidiary of Pacific Telesis Group, a diversified communications corporation based in San Francisco.

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