3.4 Total Cost of Ownership, Funding and Sustainability

There are significant challenges in managing the costs associated with school connectivity. These costs are often substantial, and they pose a significant economic burden on the education community. It is important to determine how connectivity can be financed. This needs to be decided for both the initial outlay of monies to obtain equipment and establish connections, as well as the support for connectivity in the long term.

The initial economic costs of school connectivity are largely based on the telecommunication costs for providing connectivity, whether through fixed telephone lines, wireless access, satellite service, or the accompanying Internet service provider charges. In addition, calculation of connectivity costs should include the costs for computer hardware, network wiring, modems, routers, network file services, and wireless local area networks.

The cost of computers and other supporting equipment can exceed the connectivity costs, particularly if a one-to-one computing model (i.e., providing each student with a laptop) is adopted (see the discussion in Section 5 Cross-Cutting Issues on “Low cost computing devices for schools initiatives” ).

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