News

Ed-tech stakeholders advocate for boost in eRate cap

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, @eSN_Laura
August 13th, 2013

Ed-tech advocates say increasing the federal eRate cap is essential for U.S. students’ success.

Inadequate internet connectivity is more than an inconvenience to teachers and students—it has the capacity to limit the educational and economic potential of more than 52 million students in more than 113,000 schools across the nation, according to ed-tech stakeholders.

During an Aug. 12 briefing, John Harrington, CEO of eRate consulting firm Funds For Learning, said President Obama’s proposed ConnectED initiative, which aims to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband within five years. Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize the existing eRate program to make that goal a reality.

Making sure that 99 percent of U.S. students have access to internet with speeds of at least 100 Mbps and up to 1 Gbps would mean that internet access is as ubiquitous as electricity in schools, Harrington said.

(Next page: What does 99 percent of U.S. students mean, exactly?)