On October 19, 2021, education and library association representatives met with FCC Commissioner Simington and his staff to discuss modernizing the E-rate program’s cybersecurity provisions. The group cited the need to help schools and libraries defend themselves from the growing threat of persistent and harmful cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks, that target school and library networks. They explained that the E-rate program could support safe and secure high capacity broadband by fully funding modern firewalls in the E-rate eligible services list. They also asked that the FCC open a rulemaking to add more sophisticated network protection to the program.
Included in the meeting were representatives from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the Alliance for Excellence in Education (All4Ed), the American Library Association (ALA), National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and the State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA).
The Stakeholders Ex Parte Notice can be viewed here