94% of E-rate applicants say that E-rate funding is vital to achieving their organization’s Internet connectivity goals. This is according to the most recent nationwide survey of 1,763 E-rate applicants. 84% of applicants believe that they can depend on E-rate funding every year. This trust reflects a significant improvement in the reliability of the program to deliver support on an annual basis. Dependable E-rate support is yielding important and measurable outcomes. According to schools and libraries, because of the E-rate funding program:
  • 89% of applicants have faster Internet connections to their school and library sites.
  • 87% of applicants connect more students and library patrons to the Internet.
  • 70% of applicants have lower prices because of the E-rate competitive bidding process.
The E-rate program is also delivering on the FCC’s goals for the program:
  • 91% of applicants agree that the E-rate is ensuring access to affordable broadband.
  • 91% of applicants agree that the E-rate is maximizing the cost-effectiveness of their spending.
  • 53% of applicants agree that the E-rate process is becoming fast, simple and efficient.
Remarkably, these statistics show vary little variation between locations and types of applicants. For example, the chart below illustrates how applicants respond to certain statements about the E-rate program based on their location. There is little difference rather they are in an urban or rural environment: E-rate funding is vital to their goals. It is lowering their prices and getting faster connections to more students and library patrons.
 
 
Similarly, there is little-to-no difference in these responses for applicants of different types. Single schools, school districts, libraries, library systems, and consortium are all in nearly unanimous agreement about the positive impact of the E-rate funding program. It is remarkable that such a diverse set of entities, serving such a diverse group of communities, in such diverse areas of our country, could have such a consistently positive view of the E-rate program.
 
 
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This article is part of an ongoing series that discusses the results of the 2019 nationwide survey of E-rate applicants. Please take the time now to review the results. The initial findings were submitted to the FCC in June, 2019, and the entire report is available online. Next week we will look at Category 2 funding.