New Jersey school consortium bags big broadband savings

New Jersey education department and 145 schools strike deal to slice broadband costs by $89 million and boost capacity over three and a half years.

A consortium of 145 K-12 schools in New Jersey proved that when it comes to buying broadband, banding together pays off.

Led by the state Department of Education, the group succeeded in negotiating a deal that will save the schools $89 million over the life of a three-and-a-half year contract — and provide 2.5 times more bandwidth for the schools.

“We created this partnership to just give [school organizations] a chance to come together and make one large buy, and drive down the overall price,” said Laurence Cocco, director of the Office of Educational Technology in New Jersey Dept. of Education. “The concept was to use cooperative purchasing to combine statewide buying power.” He shared the experience in a webinar held Monday by the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

Cocco said the consortium will expand to include more districts, as well as charter and private schools in the fall of 2016. Within three years, the department plans to create a statewide network including the majority of schools to purchase internet services cooperatively.

Read the full story on EdScoop.

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