The State Library through the JerseyConnect program is posting an E-Rate 470 statewide for managed wireless solutions for public libraries. The solution we are looking for is a cloud-based management application that allows us to manage the access points on behalf of participating libraries. Our desire is to offer this to all libraries, including libraries that do not connect to our core network.
Since the 470 is a bidding process, we won’t know costs until responses come in. For budgeting, we anticipate the libraries having to pay between $500 and $1000 per access point, with yearly maintenance or license fees per access point expected to be around 10-15% of the access points hardware costs. After the 470 filing closes, we will know the solution as well as specific costs. I would expect to know the vendor by the beginning of February.
E-Rate Central will assist libraries in applying for E-Rate funds to offset these costs. Libraries that do not wish to use E-Rate will still need to wait for us to complete the 470 process.
This concept was created based on a few different common issues libraries have shared with us: not having reliable wireless service, not having a way to capture wireless statistics, as well as not having any way to monitor or troubleshoot their existing wireless networks.