Data from annual trends report reveals how schools and libraries use federal E-rate funding to
support connectivity goals on the program’s 20th anniversary
 
EDMOND, OKLA. (Dec. 13, 2017) – The impending decision by the FCC to maintain or repeal Net Neutrality raises questions about how internet regulation could impact connectivity for U.S. schools and libraries. To help educate and support discussions regarding the importance of broadband connection and E-rate funding, Funds For Learning releases its annual 2017 E‐rate Trends Report.
 
Based on a survey of approximately 1,100 participants who closely resemble the total population of E-rate applicants, the 2017 E-rate Trends Report analyzes the strengths of the program in supporting connectivity goals and highlights areas for improvement. Results include:
  • Data and Internet services accounted for $2.5 billion of the $4.9 billion in services supported by E-rate.
     
  • 90 percent of survey respondents expect their school or district’s Internet bandwidth to increase over the next three years.
     
  • Only 18 percent of survey respondents believe that the current budget cap is sufficient to meet their school’s needs.
     
  • 55 percent of respondents would change the Eligible Services list to include Voice Services.
     
  • 73 percent of respondents believe that insufficient off-campus Internet access for students or library patrons is a significant issue in their community.
     
  • 44 percent of respondents do not believe that the E-rate application program is fast, simple and efficient.
“The 20th anniversary of E-rate presents an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the successes and challenges of this vital program,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “While much has changed during the last two decades, wide-ranging support for E-rate has remained a constant. Hearing input from school and library patrons will help administrators continue to grow the program’s positive impact.”
 
The E-rate program supports more than 118,000 school and library facilities nationwide. Following the 2014 modernization of the program, the FCC set goals to increase access to affordable broadband while maximizing cost-effectiveness and program efficiency.
 
To view and download the full 2017 E-rate Trends Report, visit https://www.fundsforlearning.com/2017ErateTrends.php

About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.
 
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