South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) in Columbia is one example of a NEBSA-member organization that is making the most of the EBS. SCETV provides organizations for Pre-K students--like libraries, preschools, daycares, and afterschool learning centers--with 2.5 GHz networked devices, free wireless broadband access, technical support to sustain the integrity of the network, and bundled educational content from PBS and other providers. SCETV also provides PreK-12 educational content and support to all of South Carolina’s public, private, and home schools.
Dean Byrd, Director of Education for SCETV, notes that NEBSA played an instrumental role in helping SCETV transition from ITFS to EBS and navigate the legal and regulatory issues around lease contracts and FCC guidelines. During the peak of the ITFS era, SCETV had 35 Distance Education Centers with over 60 ITFS licenses. Centers with at least 4 channels were equipped with recording stations, a small TV studio used for distance learning, and networked access to SCETV’s statewide public broadcast TV network and 32-channel satellite system. The transition from analog to digital and then to wireless broadband technology has been important for SCETV and for South Carolina; Byrd says that the transition “has saved SCETV and the state of South Carolina an enormous amount of money because they don’t have to maintain and run an antiquated statewide analog system.”
As a result, SCETV has been able to redirect resources to develop high quality online educational content and services. Byrd adds, “The internet has replaced traditional distance learning ITFS systems. NEBSA has informed us about new regulations and allowed us to network with peers, which has allowed us a healthy and wealthy transition…Through NEBSA’s professional networking, SCETV continues to learn from similar institutions across the nation.”