Digital classroom enabled by cost-effective K-12 E-rate lit and dark fiber pricing

K-12 E-rate Lit and Dark Fiber Pricing

Velocity’s Fiber’s E-rate Category 1 eligible K-12 lit and dark fiber network pricing model is purposely structured to solve pain points for school districts looking for long-term scalable fiber WAN solutions. We eliminate monthly price increases when upgrading WAN speeds and significantly reduce our monthly WAN price after the initial term to help unlock digital learning opportunities.

Plus, whether you are with an urban, suburban or rural school district, we support E-rate’s Special Construction program and State Matching (where available) to help put fast and forward thinking fiber WANs within reach of K-12 districts.

Graph showing traditional providers price increasing per Gbps while Velocity Fiber's price stays fixed.
When upgrading WAN bandwidth, traditional providers charge more. Velocity Fiber keeps your price fixed.

Grow K-12 Minds ... Not E-rate Fiber Costs

Once Velocity Fiber has built your dedicated fiber network, to upgrade the WAN speed, we only need to switch out the Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) modules that are installed in your equipment. Since that is the only hardware cost we incur, we simply charge a modest one-time fee for the upgrade, and your monthly price never increases.

Even if your K-12 district’s WAN speed jumps all the way from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps, your monthly bill will never increase. This progressive pricing model makes budgeting easier while ensuring your district always has the WAN bandwidth necessary to unlock digital learning.

Regardless of your district’s pedagogical approach or where you are at on the path of adopting digital instructional materials and online learning resources, you can rest assured Velocity Fiber will deliver the WAN bandwidth necessary today and into the future, to support everything from one-to-one (1:1) or many-to-one devices at school, to virtual or mixed reality and game-based learning for a world-class education. 

Initial K-12 E-rate Contract Term

When building a fiber network, there are two primary pricing components that impact the monthly price to school districts. Since we build your district a brand new robust fiber network, there is the capital we spend for construction of the network itself.

The FCC 2014 E-rate Modernization Order has eased Districts’ budgetary constraints for these capital costs by allowing for one-time upfront payment for the construction while allowing the Districts to request installment payments over a four year period to pay their non-discounted E-rate share of the funding.

Monthly pricing components during initial and future terms. Note how the price drops after the initial term.

In addition, there is a component for maintenance and operations (commonly referred to as M&O) which covers items like insurance, maintenance for the fiber outside plant (OSP), taxes and company overhead to run our business and provide support to our customers. 

Extension and Renewal Terms for K-12 E-rate Fiber

One of the things that really sets Velocity Fiber apart from traditional phone and cable companies is what happens during renewal terms or voluntary extension terms should the district have requested them in their FCC Form 470 and/or RFP.

Since we have recouped the cost of construction during the initial term, Velocity Fiber drops the price so that school districts only pay for the ongoing Maintenance and Operations (M&O). 

Everything else stays the same, including the ability to increase WAN speeds or light additional fiber strands mid-term for a nominal non-recurring upgrade price without ever increasing your monthly recurring cost (MRC).

After the initial term, the district only pays for M&O. As shown below, the district can only pay M&O during the initial term too with Special Construction.
District savings become even more apparent in future terms

E-rate Fiber Service Provider Pricing Comparison

When comparing Velocity Fiber’s price to an existing fiber provider’s that remains the same in the initial and future terms, the savings with our fiber WAN solution increases because of the reduction in MRC discussed above. Plus, the district will have its own world class dedicated fiber network.

In addition, any WAN bandwidth increases your district determines are necessary during these terms could further increase savings since your monthly price is fixed, even if you increase WAN speeds or light additional strands of fiber. 

Special Construction (discussed below) enables school districts to realize these monthly savings in the initial contract term rather than waiting for future terms.

Cumulative Savings for K-12 Districts

Over time, these savings can really add up, and once the construction component of the pricing is eliminated, your district’s savings accelerate. Better yet, these savings don’t stop when the graph ends. They continue to accumulate for your K-12 school district. 

Velocity Fiber’s goal is to be the most cost effective solution not only in the near term but for an entire educational generation or longer.

The amount of any potential savings varies by district due to unique factors including the number of service locations, their proximity to one another, the length of contract term, and the overall cost and complexity of the fiber build due to local conditions.

Cumulative savings accelerate during renewal and extension terms and keep growing into the future.
Special Construction accelerates the realization of monthly savings for a school district because the cost of the network construction is paid off upfront.

The Power of E-rate Special Construction

The Second E-rate Modernization Order allows for Special Construction, and Velocity Fiber offers this as an option for school districts on almost every proposal we submit in response to a school district’s FCC Form 470 and RFP.

Depending on the option selected by your district, this upfront payment to Velocity Fiber eliminates or reduces the construction pricing component discussed above so school districts can begin receiving the lower M&O only pricing sooner.

Velocity Fiber also allows your district to divide the non-discounted portion of Special Construction charges over the maximum number of installments permitted by E-rate and at an interest rate of 0%.

Some states also have matching funds available for school districts, and this is discussed in more detail below.

WITHOUT Special Construction: Districts don't see a significant price drop until after the initial contract term.
WITH Special Construction: Districts receive the low monthly at the beginning of the initial contract term.

E-rate State Matching Funds for K-12 Districts

The Second E-rate Modernization Order also provides the option for E-rate Applicants to receive an additional FCC discount of up to 10% (above and beyond your normal state discount) to match state broadband funds. Not all states offer this option, but for those districts in states that do, it can help them reduce the monthly cost of their fiber WAN, sometimes to ZERO out-of-pocket. 

In fact, for 80% and 90% discount eligible K-12 school districts in states with matching funds, there is even the ability to fund the entire Special Construction without any district money being spent! That means that the monthly savings, discussed above, can begin accumulating right away.

EducationSuperHighway has great information on their website that discusses State Matching in more detail, including example cases.

For additional information, watch the “Show Me the Money” webinar hosted by for funding related information covering topics including grants and E-rate Special Construction.

Pie chart showing the breakdown of special construction charges with state matching funds
E-rate will provide an additional discount up to 10% (above and beyond your district's standard discount %) to match state funds your district receives for Special Construction.
"In order to provide personalized learning experiences for students to best prepare them for college and careers, and to compete in a global economy, all schools need access to reliable, high-speed broadband."
Candice Dodson
Executive Director of SETDA

Even a district's favorite vendor was new to them at some point. That relationship started with a single phone call.

We're More Than a Pretty Price

Learn how Velocity Fiber's WAN Advantages translate to a better education for your students.
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