This week, President-elect Obama named Julius Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission. Genachowski is generally well regarded by the telecom industry and does have experience within the FCC, which makes things look good for the E-rate program.
Those that have been around E-rate for some time may remember Genachowski. He was chief counsel at the FCC when the E-rate program was implemented, and actually had a hand in the development of the FCC’s Report and Order that set up many of the founding principles of the program.
What changes will come to the program? It’s too early to tell, but we hope that it returns the focus of the FCC to providing schools and libraries with discounts on essential telecommunications services and away from spending exorbitant amounts of money on auditing (and scaring away) the applicants that need E-rate funding the most.