What Is EBS?

Delivering excellent dedicated wireless internet service to educational institutions

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EBS enhances classroom experiences through wireless technology

The Educational Broadband Service (EBS) is a wireless digital communication service regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It grants licenses to schools, colleges, universities, and other qualified organizations for one purpose: to boost education through data, video, and voice transmissions.

EBS helps educational institutions:

Connect to reliable internet

EBS provides a stable and secure internet connection for online learning resources, video conferencing, and other digital tools.

Expand learning opportunities

Schools can use EBS to connect with remote learners, collaborate with other institutions, and access a wider range of educational materials.

Bridge the digital divide

EBS helps ensure educational institutions have the necessary internet infrastructure to support modern learning methods.

Previously, EBS existed as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), focusing on transmitting educational TV programming. However, with the rise of online learning platforms, it has evolved to prioritize wireless data transmission, catering to the changing needs of the education sector.

Views on Learning holds EBS licenses in 19 service areas across the United States.

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EBS Spectrum Band Plan

How educational institutions access wireless broadband

The EBS Spectrum Band is a dedicated portion of the radio frequency spectrum reserved for educational purposes. It operates within the 2.5 GHz range, precisely between 2496 MHz and 2690 MHz.

Within this band, there are 20 channels allocated for EBS use. Additionally, there are 13 channels designated for commercial Broadband Radio Service (BRS). Apart from these main channels, smaller guard band channels associated with both EBS and BRS channels exist to prevent interference between them.

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EBS Geographic Service Areas

Exclusive locations where the EBS spectrum is available

Since 2005, EBS stations have been granted licenses based on specific geographic areas. Each station has its own Geographic Service Area (GSA), a circular zone with a radius of 35 miles around a designated reference point. This reference point is usually the location of the station’s old video transmission site.

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EBS Leasing

Ways to further utilize the EBS spectrum

Back in 1983, the FCC wanted to make better use of the EBS spectrum (formerly known as the ITFS). They created rules that allowed but didn’t require EBS stations to lease their extra capacity for commercial purposes.

In some cases, EBS stations may choose to lease their excess capacity, and this leasing arrangement generates revenue that can be reinvested back into supporting the expansion of educational technology access for schools and communities.

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VOL’s services for accredited institutions in our EBS Geographic Service Areas

We offer a variety of resources and initiatives that leverage technology to improve education within our EBS zones:

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Educational Technology Grants

We award annual grants of up to $250,000 to support innovative technology projects to schools within our EBS service areas. These grants can be used to procure classroom devices or fund students’ participation in robotics and other STEM programs.

Interactive Connectivity

By providing educational institutions access to a fixed number of Zoom® licenses, we break down geographical barriers and empower students and educators to engage in a truly connected learning experience.

Wireless Internet Access

Through a collaborative effort with T-Mobile®, we are able to provide wireless internet devices to schools in our EBS zones, helping to close the digital gap and ensure students have the tools they need to succeed.