FCC Chairman Wheeler responded to Senator Udall’s inquiry into whether the FCC would consider expanding the use of E-rate funds to allow school districts to put Wi-Fi supported solutions on school buses in order to help close the “homework gap”. Many students still do not have access to high speed Internet connections at home in order to complete homework assignments and the FCC is in the process of continuing to find regulatory solutions to this problem.
Chairman Wheeler stated in the letter that “….just last month, the Wireline Competition Bureau sought comment on two petitions that raise issues regarding eligibility of off-campus use of E-rate supported services for educational purposes. As you mention in your letter, a few school districts have been experimenting with Wi-Fi on school buses, and others have expressed an interest. I fully expect the record in response to the Bureau notice will touch on issues relevant to Wi-Fi on buses. With respect to Wi-Fi on buses, there are particularly interesting issues regarding technical feasibility and economic impact of the cost of equipping buses with Wi-Fi equipment and paying monthly recurring costs to provide broadband services to those buses. We will keep your office apprised of the record in this proceeding…”
FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Letter to Senator Udall can be viewed here.