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Abstract -- Building a Commercial Internet Service for Education: Learning from One Vendor's Experience Education Track
D1: New Partnerships for Educational Networking

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Building a Commercial Internet Service for Education: Learning from One Vendor's Experience

Perlman, Richard ( rdperlm@pacbell.com)


As public funding and grants become increasingly harder to find more and more people are looking at the "private" sector business model. Even public agencies are looking to augment their income through sale of certain services. This presentation will look at the experiences of a telephone company in the Internet Education field in a way that will help the reader/listener become better prepared to leap into the "net."

The audience is potential users/customers for Internet services, people interested in getting into the Internet Education business and people already in the business. The talk will provide those in education with information to help them differentiate between the increasing number of products on the market which present themselves as "Education focused."

Pacific Bell is in the third year of an authorized technology test to bring the "Internet" into California K-14 classrooms. Over a five year period this project has moved from conceptual planning, to a trial server provided by CalState University to an in-house developed product consisting of Information and Communications services, network connections, proprietary information resources, contracted information sources, desktop software, support (a help desk) and a comprehensive training program.

Currently serving 16 individual schools, two complete school districts and one county office of education, we have had a unique opportunity to learn what is needed in the schools and how it needs to be delivered. Our present base is over 25,000 users accessing the system - and the Internet - over dedicated data lines and ISDN services using low cost, mostly public domain, software.

This presentation will discuss these areas:

What is the market?

What Product is needed?

As an educator what should you take away from this presentation?