Ed Management Services

Connectivity Speed Waiver


Completing and filing the Connectivity Speed Waiver is only required if a district indicated that a waiver was required under the Educational Classroom Technology category of the SSIP.

The Smart Schools Bond Act is a one-time source of funds. The goal is to use these funds effectively to build long-term capacity. To demonstrate that this is the case, schools must show that they currently possess sufficient infrastructure to meet the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 100 Mbps per 1,000 students standard  in the buildings where new devices will be deployed, or is a planned use of a portion of Smart Schools Bond Act funds, or is under development through another funding source. National experts recommended to the FCC that this be the goal to meet educational and multimedia requirements. Therefore, this is a precondition for the purchase of devices, as described further in the school connectivity section.

Smart Schools Bond Act funds used for technology infrastructure investments must increase the number of school buildings that meet or exceed the minimum speed standard of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students and staff within 12 months. This standard may be met on either a contracted 24/7 firm service or a "burstable" capability.

If the standard is met under the burstable criteria, it must be:

1.  Specifically codified in a service contract with a provider, and

2.  Guaranteed to be available to all students and devices as needed, particularly during periods of high demand, such as computer-based testing (CBT) periods.

The Smart Schools Review Board has limited discretion to exempt districts from this requirement or extend the timeframe for compliance. To apply for exemption, please complete ALL applicable waiver criteria categories you are claiming and the associated questions. Documentation by service providers or outside planning firms or agencies is required under each category.

A district requesting a waiver must demonstrate that it has made a good faith effort to meet this minimum speed standard (unless they are claiming exemption under the Unnecessary Speeds criteria) and detail all efforts made to meet such requirement. The Review Board will consider each waiver request and may refer districts to partner organizations for assistance in meeting such standard as a prerequisite or substitute for granting such waiver or extension of time to meet the standard.

Access the Connectivity Speed Waiver Request through the NYSED Business Portal http://portal.nysed.gov under the SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance System.

If you have any questions as you fill out the Connectivity Speed Waiver Request, please send them to smartschools@nysed.gov.


Last Updated: May 10, 2016