The Union School District will move forward with rolling back its voice service and increasing its current internet service. A proposal to do so was approved by the school board at its February meeting.

Technology Coordinator Matt Jones said the change comes as a result of years of declining use of the districts backup voice lines. He said the demand for internet has increased, introducing a new need for a backup

Each year, Jones requests a certain amount of E-rate funds from Universal Service Administrative Company to determine the best fit for spending on voice and telecommunications.

According to Jones, recent changes to the E-rate program shifted focus away from voice and closer to internet and data services to help promote internet availability. He said, with Union’s One to World initiative to equip each student with a device, the need for more internet connectivity has spiked.

“With recent strides in our One to World initiative, having a consistent and reliable internet connection has become paramount and an area that needs special attention,” Jones said. “Additionally, our landline voice usage has declined to a threshold that no longer warrants the volume of voice connectivity we currently purchase.”

Disconnecting the circuit will save the district an estimated $4,780 annually, Jones said. However, the district’s call volume capacity will be cut in half. He said in the rare case the main line would be overloaded, callers could get a busy signal.

In the past 60 days, he added, there have only been four occurrences when the second line was needed.

The district will now purchase a second internet connection, depending on E‐rate funds availability, to supplement its primary connection with MOREnet, its internet provider.

That connection will add approximately 28 percent additional capacity at an annual cost to the district of approximately $4,530.20.

The circuit will be provided from an alternate vendor and is geographically diverse from the district’s primary connection, Jones said. This measure is to help protect the district against a total internet outage situation.

The board unanimously approved the proposal. Jones is now taking bids for the new internet connection.