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The Next Step for a Modern E-rate Program

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a significant increase to the E-rate fund, the first such change since the program was established in 1997. For many years, Funds For Learning has championed, most recently in our E-rate 2.0 proposal, the urgent need to modernize and increase E-rate funding in order to continue to promote broadband connectivity.

In a letter to the FCC, Funds For Learning CEO, John Harrington, notes that, “The E-rate program has been widely successful in helping schools and libraries connect to the Internet. An increase in the fund will further enable applicants to enhance their network capacity, putting E-rate services to good use in the hands of students and library patrons.”

Adding more financial support is the ideal next step to accompany the FCC’s recent E-rate Modernization Order. That Order focused the E-rate more narrowly on broadband connectivity, while improving the application process and providing additional transparency of funding requests; putting more money into the E-rate program will be the necessary fuel to make all of those changes successful.

The demand for E-rate support has been consistently increasing over time, and now the FCC has an opportunity to address that demand while promoting the continued success of the program. The direct implication of more money for applicants is that more students and library patrons will have access to robust high-speed Internet access. Even more, the proposed change will enable applicants to quickly, effectively and confidently improve their on-campus network capacity with the help of E-rate support. This will benefit every member of the community.

With Chairman Wheeler’s proposed fund increase, the FCC has the opportunity to complete the modernization of the E-rate program, and we encourage them to take it.


On Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET, John Harrington, Chief Executive Officer, Funds For Learning, will host a webinar for E-rate applicants entitled: E-rate 2.1 – The Next Step for E-rate Modernization, covering the impact of the FCC’s vote on increasing the fund. Please click here for registration information.


For more about Funds For Learning’s commentary on E-rate Modernization and the need for increased funding, see the articles below:

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