Region 20 ESC is one of 20 regional service centers established by the Texas State Legislature to provide services to schools within defined geographic regions. Region 20 ESC, located in San Antonio, Texas, serves more than 465,000 students and 127 independent school districts, charters, and private schools across 20 counties in the San Antonio Region of Texas.
Region 20 ESC has an established history of providing technology services, including transport and Internet access to local school districts and charters utilizing the consortium model. In 2017, more than 70 districts and charter schools participated in an RFP process for the Region 20 ESC Fiber Consortium. The winning bid proposed the use of over 750 miles of existing “dark” fiber and the additional build of approximately 557 miles of new fiber. Of the 87 participating LEA’s, and libraries approximately 60% are rural districts who were limited by existing infrastructure and the vast majority of new fiber was in these areas. In 2019 the consortium was expanded to include a second project including rural libraries, additional LEA’s that missed the original 2017 project and several Wide Area Network builds for existing Fiber20 sites. ESC Region 20 received an approved Funding Commitment Decision Letter (RFCDL) for construction in Feb 2019, and a Revised RFCDL in Aug 2019 with an approved construction extension to July 2020. The initial project completed on 1 July 2020. The second phase is on target to finish by May 2021.
The goal of the Region 20 ESC Fiber Consortium is to provide:
- Equitable access to low-cost dedicated bandwidth to all schools regardless of their size and location.
- Ability to scale and grow Internet bandwidth as the district needs change.
- Single support path to all consortium members by Region 20 ESC.
- Opportunity for districts to partner with ESC or other districts to share services over the consortium’s dedicated network.
- Provide for long term budgeting with a fixed cost for LEA’s
- Meet or exceed the Commissioner’s 1Mbps per student mandate
Achieving these goals will positively impact nearly 250,000 students at 353 campuses with potential long-term savings of roughly $13 million. In future phases, the impact could grow to nearly half a million students.
The Region 20 ESC Fiber Consortium network infrastructure will serve as the catalyst to provide safe and secure access to digital resources, enhancing the overall student learning experience, and improving educational outcomes.