The FCC’s vote today to increase E-rate support is a bold step forward in support of our nation’s students and library patrons. Internet access is an essential element of modern society. Yet Internet capacity in our nation’s schools’ and libraries is lagging. The majority of our nation’s classrooms and libraries lack adequate Internet capacity, and, in effect, are excluded from the interconnected world in which we live.
For 17 years we have watched a steady increase in the need for Internet capacity in schools and libraries. But the E-rate fund has not grown to meet that need. The new E-rate funding cap will enable applicants to enhance their network capacity so schools and libraries can connect more students and library patrons and expand their educational horizons.
Funds For Learning strongly supports the FCC’s action today. We are committed to working with the FCC and others to ensure that our nation’s educational broadband needs are being met and that learners of all ages have access to the Internet. We further pledge to equip and empower applicants to diligently manage their E-rate funding to ensure it is used properly and effectively to reach these goals.