Two recent reports suggesting the eRate is laden with fraud and abuse have triggered renewed scrutiny of the $2.25 billion–a–year program, which provides telecommunications discounts to schools and libraries.

Denounced by conservatives in Congress when it was launched in 1997, the eRate weathered several early storms to become a vital source of funding for schools' technology infrastructure. Now, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is conducting a preliminary investigation of the eRate to get to the bottom of the reports of fraud and the resulting media attention they've generated.

"The

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