Cox Business Services has contracted to form an educational network for
teachers and students in Arizona.
The division of Cox Communications Inc. has been awarded a $27.9 million
application-server-provider contract by the Arizona School Facilities Board to
work with three major providers to develop the Cox Education Network in the
state, the parties announced.
Cox will team up with KPMG Consulting, an educational-content aggregator, and
Arizona-based managed-solutions and educational-technology-services provider
Ensynch to provide an array of educational tools and resources to educators and
students throughout the state's 228 school districts. The contract extends
through June 30, 2005.
The Cox Education Network will host school and teacher Web sites, provide
electronic-mail services for staff and students and proffer
student-information-management systems, student-assessment-tracking systems and
In addition to the aforementioned companies, the Cox Education Network will
be forged through resources from Apple Computer Inc. (hardware), Compaq Computer
Corp. (hardware) Beyond Books (educational content), Cisco Systems Inc. (35
network academies) Microsoft Corp. (30 training programs), EdGate.com Inc.
(educational content and smart cards for teachers) and NetSchools Corp.
(curriculum-management and student-information and assessment systems), among
Robert Carter, vice president and general manager for Cox Business Services
in Arizona, said the Cox Education Network can also include a digital-channel
component, the content of which would be controlled by the Arizona
'We're recommending that school systems start a channel for high-school
students that would include studio-type shows with on-air talent and a
production unit,' he said, noting that such efforts would mirror extant
endeavors at the junior-college and college levels.
Such a use of channel capacity would also carry an added benefit for Cox. 'It
would be a super lift for us in driving sales with mom and dad to watch Sally or
Billy on digital television,' Carter said.
He added that Cox Business Services won the application-service-provider
contract over 14 other prime bidders, including Microsoft Corp. 'Frankly, no one
could offer the total package of video, voice and data that we could,' he
Up next, Carter said, Cox Business Services hopes to win the Internet-access
piece to the portal business. 'We're in the running for that, too,' he stated,
while praising Arizona's move toward trying to bridge the educational and
digital divide. Arizona government and educators have been aggressive in their
pursuit of offering state-of-the-art educational technology for rural and less
He noted that Cox Business Services' submittal of a request for proposal for
the portal business stemmed in large part from the educational initiatives Cox
has engaged in under the auspices of Cable in the Classroom and Cox University
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