Below is a recap of just a few of the notable E-rate related moments from 2017.
(Jan) New FCC Chair highlights closing digital divide as priority in his first address to FCC staff. In May, he again expresses his commitment to the E-rate program.
(Mar) The FCC establishes a record E-rate funding cap of nearly $4 billion, while prominent politicians from both major political parties advocate for the E-rate program.
(April) Ajit Pai sends USAC a strongly worded letter highlighting serious flaws in its administration of the E-rate program. Not long thereafter, the head of USAC steps down.
(June) Surging demand and more competition led to faster, more affordable broadband connections and lower costs on FY2017 E-rate applications.
(July) USAC pays out record funds and improves pace of funding decisions compared to dismal 2016.
(Aug) The Senate filled two empty positions on the Federal Communications Commission.
Analysis Measures Impact of C2 in 2015
(Sept) The Alliance for Excellent Education and FFL released an analysis showing 42,700 school sites nationwide benefited from C2 funding in funding year 2015.
FCC Releases Voice Phase Down Report
(Oct) The FCC released an analysis of the impact of phasing out voice services from the E-rate program, acknowledging its role in declining demand and the reduced number of applicants.
Hurricane Relief Efforts (November)
(Nov) The FCC took special action to support schools and libraries impacted by major hurricanes. Certain deadlines were waived, C2 budgets were reset and a special filing window was opened.
2017 E-rate Trends Report
(Dec) 1,096 applicants provide feedback to the FCC about the E-rate program’s strengths and weaknesses. Separate analysis shows that E-rate annually provides $55 per student.