LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With this year's E-Rate filing deadline rapidly approaching, Windstream (Nasdaq:WIN), a leading provider of advanced network communications, is urging all K-12 schools and libraries to complete their E-Rate application now in order to leverage discounts on telecommunications, Internet, and internal communications. The E-Rate program, administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), provides discounts ranging from 20 to 90 percent on certain telecommunication and Internet services, as well as on equipment and maintenance, to eligible K-12 schools and libraries across the country. The deadline to start the application and competitive bidding process for FY2014 E-Rate funding is Feb. 26. Schools and libraries have until March 26 to choose their E-Rate service provider. "Windstream has worked with thousands of K-12 schools and libraries nationwide, customizing voice and data networks to fit the unique needs of each one," said Matt Preschern, Windstream's senior vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer. "The Windstream team helps our K-12 education and library customers achieve the goals they've set for the students and communities they serve, installing solutions that foster a state-of-the-art learning experience. In addition to expert solutions architects, we have had our E-Rate support team in place since the program's inception in 1997, helping our customers take full advantage of the program and offering guidance in navigating the filing and audit process." Many of today's schools are upgrading their networks to accommodate next-generation technology that enhances school curriculum and learning opportunities for students in the classroom. Windstream's customized solutions allow its educational institution customers to bring state-of-the-art telecommunications and data solutions to their students, educators, and communities. These solutions include unified communications, high-speed Internet access, network solutions and network security. Windstream also offers a robust set of Managed Network Security tools to help educators meet federal compliance requirements such as CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) and (FERPA) Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act. "In today's more challenging economic climate, communications solutions offer the greatest opportunity for educators to solve the mismatch between resources and expectations and to provide a competitive edge," said Roopashree Honnachari, program manager for Business Communication Services at Frost & Sullivan. "Tapping into publically available funds to support telecommunications infrastructure upgrades and high-speed Internet connectivity is particularly vital to K-12 schools which confront steeper budget constraints compared to higher education."