On February 6, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission released a Report & Order reforming and modernizing the Lifeline and Link Up Universal Service Fund (USF) programs. In the Order, the FCC also included a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on the best way to advance digital literacy through existing USF support programs. The National Broadband Plan acknowledges that digital literacy is an “evolving concept” and defines digital literacy as generally referring to “a variety of skills associated with using information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create and communicate information.”
In the NPRM, the FCC is investigating the possibility of adding digital literacy training to the E-rate program’s Eligible Services List, or possibly re-allocating a portion of the funds set aside for E-rate into a separate digital literacy USF program. The NPRM may be downloaded here.
The NPRM has now been published in the Federal Register and the comment dates are set.
Comments are due April 2, 2012, and reply comments will be due May 1, 2012.