Funds For Learning, joining with a broad coalition of 70 other E-rate stakeholders, has called for a permanent increase to the E-rate funding cap. Coalition members, including a multitude of national education associations and vendors, have asked the FCC to financially bolster the successful, but underfunded, E-rate program with additional funds to help applicants meet the broadband capacity goals laid out for the modernized program.
According to the coalition letter submitted to the FCC on September 30th:
“In a time when almost every single classroom and the majority of libraries in the nation have lower speed internet access than the average American home while serving multiple times more users per day, it is time to ensure that our libraries and schools are connected with the quality of connectivity that is sufficient and scalable for today’s ever-growing connectivity needs. A sustainable, well-funded E-rate program is critical to ensuring educational opportunity and success for every student and library patron as we look to bolster the nation’s economic competitiveness.”
As Funds For Learning has shown in our recent proposal for E-rate reform, analysis of current demand, and estimates of future financial burdens on the program, we believe that the E-rate fund must be permanently increased in order to meet the goal of providing students and library patrons with quality Internet access.