On February 8, 2021, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) along with five other industry groups filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission requesting that cybersecurity products and services be made eligible for E-rate discounts. Specifically, the groups request: “(1) defining all firewall and related features as “basic” beginning in funding year 2021; (2) increasing the five-year Category 2 budget cap in future funding years to support needed additional cybersecurity investments; and (3) updating the agency’s broadband definition to include cybersecurity.”
The petition includes the E-rate Cybersecurity Cost Estimate developed by CoSN and Funds For Learning. The Cybersecurity Cost Estimate proposes three levels of cybersecurity protection, each with its own incremental cost:
- $0.738 billion to support next-generation firewalls
- $1.606 billion to support next-generation firewalls and endpoint security features
- $2.389 billion to support all layers, including advanced+ services
The groups’ petition may be found here, and the E-rate Cybersecurity Cost Estimate here.