Live streaming of high school events could be coming to Wyoming County.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Frank Mann told the Board of Education last Monday night that he and Danny Lusk, technology specialist, “have been working on this for the past week.
“Several counties in the state are doing (live streaming),” Mann noted.
Board Member Robbie Bailey said Wyoming East wants to broadcast ballgames and other school events and that Westside has also shown interest.
Mann said he wanted to find out if live streaming would affect the county’s eligibilty for the E-rate reimbursement.
“We are reimbursed for 79 percent of our telephone and data line costs,” he noted.
E-rate reimbursements are provided to public schools and libraries and are based on the percentage of students who are on free and reduced lunch, Mann explained.
He pointed out that bandwidth need constantly expands, and the county currently has 100 MB lines at all 15 schools.
“There is some concern whether live streaming of athletic events falls within the definition of educational or academic activities, even though students are eligible,” Mann told the Independent Herald.
“Until we know a definite answere from the federal level, I would not feel comfortable moving in a direction where we use the k-12 network,” he added.
Mann said an opinion on the matter would have to come from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“E-Rate is under their jurisdiction,” he commented.
“We have to be cautious with what we do,” he stated.
Mann observed that the lines going to the schools are not permitted to have Internet access without filtering.
He said he hopes to have more information for the board at its next meeting, which will be held on July 17 at the Central Office in Pineville.
E-Rate reimbursements are worth an estimated $250,000 to $260,00 yearly.
“Other counties are doing this, and they get E-rate too,” Bailey remarked. “I want to get the ball rolling.”
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.