Simplifying the rules and educating applicants will strengthen the $2.25 billion-a-year eRate program and help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) learned at a public forum held May 8 in Washington, D.C.

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy organized the forum to hear concrete suggestions for reforming the eRate, which has provided 66 percent of U.S. public schools with discounts on their telecommunications services, internet access, and internal wiring since its 1998 inception.

"While the program has been successful, like all government programs it can


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