News Release

Cisco Helps Resellers Take Advantage of the Federal Government's E-Rate Fund

Cisco Provides Financing and Extended Payment Terms to Resellers
Mar 24, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- March 24, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced a new program to engage and support resellers in their bid to participate in the Federal Government's Education Rate (E-Rate) fund. The E-Rate fund subsidizes K-12 school and library purchases of telecom and internetworking equipment. The intent of Cisco's channel E-Rate program is to maximize the potential of the E-Rate fund by providing aggressive pricing, extended payment terms and marketing support to participating resellers. The program also offers attractive financing to schools and libraries.

On May 8, 1997, the Federal Communications Commission established the E-Rate fund, to be managed by the Schools and Libraries Corp. (SLC). The fund provides funds of up to $2.25 billion annually to eligible schools and libraries for telecommunications services, internal connections and Internet access.

Cisco's E-Rate program offers added incentives to Cisco resellers and partners who target this K-12 school and library opportunity. More than 40,000 applications for funding have already been received by the SLC and most of these proposals will be fulfilled by resellers. The new program offers special discounts on certain Cisco hubs and switches and allows resellers with approved credit to preserve working capital through extended repayment terms of 90 days. Cisco's E-Rate program also provides 12 months of service and support to participating resellers and their customers. Cisco offers marketing support such as presentations and seminars to help resellers effectively market Cisco's end-to-end networking solutions to their education customers. Schools that participate in the program can receive competitive financing on their Cisco E-Rate purchases.

"Cisco's E-Rate program makes it easier for us to succeed in a competitive marketplace," said Kevin Kinsey, vice president of sales at Virtual Networks/IKON. "Cisco understands our needs in the education market and is leading the way for resellers to benefit from the E-Rate fund opportunity."

"As a company deeply committed to education, Cisco is strongly behind the Federal Communications Commission's goals to provide networking and Internet access to our nation's schools and libraries," said Tom Stevenson, vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco Systems. "We want to encourage our resellers to build lasting relationships with the schools and libraries they serve.

"Cisco's long-time involvement in the education market will help resellers and partners develop and plan cost-effective networks," Stevenson added. "Cisco's high-quality hubs, routers and switches enhance a school's productivity and help schools sustain a competitive edge with end-to-end solutions that are easy to install, use and manage."

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