Sennheiser adds audio conferencing solution, TeamConnect with wireless or ceiling mics

Audio mics pick up who is speaking during conferences

Sennheiser’s TeamConnect is an end-to-end, professional-grade conferencing solution for medium to large conference rooms. TeamConnect can be integrated into any infrastructure or conference room to deliver leading-edge connectivity options for “bring your own device” IT environments, support for all leading unified communication solutions and brilliant sound quality.

Sennheiser TeamConnect is a complete audio solution for businesses. Consisting of the Central Unit CU1 – which offers both Ethernet and wifi connectivity options, a choice of fixed or table-top SpeechLine microphones or the new TeamConnect Ceiling microphone, and active loudspeakers, TeamConnect has everything needed to cater for medium to large conference rooms.

“TeamConnect is a classic, reliable audio solution, which is designed to be integrated into any infrastructure or room. It can be used with landline or Unified Communication clients, and either permanently installed or set up for flexible use,” said Jens Werner, Portfolio Manager Sennheiser. “As well as being easily linked to networks, it is also very easy to operate, both by IT and for end users, with powerful fine-tuning software to ensure effective installation and simple app- and browser- based tools for controlling conferences on a user’s own device.”…Read More

FCC approves $9 broadband subsidy for low-income households

Expansion of the Lifeline program will affect more than 13 million Americans

A recently-approved expansion of an FCC program will grant millions of low-income households a discount on internet access in an effort to help close what is becoming known as the digital divide — the lack of reliable high-speed internet access for lower income families.

FCC commissioners voted on the proposed expansion 3 to 2 along party lines, as expected. Eligible households (those at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level) will now be able to apply the $9.25 subsidy to broadband, wireless, or a bundled voice and internet package. Previously, the program, called Lifeline, was only applicable to phone service.

According to the FCC, nearly all households with annual incomes of more than $150,000 currently have high-speed internet; by contrast, nearly half of those with incomes less than $25,000 claim the same.…Read More

7 things you need to know now about E-rate changes

Big E-rate changes mean schools must chart a new path

A bigger annual cap isn’t the only recent change to the E-rate program. New forms, new data, the potential for infrastructure discounts, and (even more) new funding are all colliding to create one of the most challenging application periods in memory. We asked E-rate guru John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning, for his application-time thoughts and advice.

There is a lot of funding available

“This year this is a record amount of money available. The FCC increased the funding cap and they’ve been very diligent about going back and accounting for underutilized discounts. When schools apply for their discounts, they have to provide an estimate, and usually they err on the high side because you can’t go back later. It’s like if I told you, ‘Hey, you can get a discount on your phone bill, but you need to estimate it now.’ You might go back and add a few points.

“There’s often little percentage points that were underutilized, because they just weren’t needed. Those dollars accumulate over time, and, this past December, resulted in a rollover of a few billion dollars. Between the increase and the leftover dollars, they have over $5 billion to commit for projects.”…Read More

S.C. education leaders want $30 million to help schools go wireless

The S.C. Education Oversight Committee wants state lawmakers to spend $30 million next year on technology to improve wireless access in school buildings across the state, reports the heraldonline.com. The request, said members of the state’s education research and accountability arm, comes as public school districts increasingly set goals to give every student a computer or wireless device, and as testing and classroom instruction move online. The request is about $20 million more than lawmakers have been spending on internet technology. The General Assembly has spent $10 million annually for the last five years to increase internet bandwidth in school buildings, many of which have hard-wired internet access. Going wireless requires an investment in more expensive technology, said Melanie Barton, the Oversight Committee’s executive director…

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