e-Rate advocates: More funding for internet connections

Research indicates that students and young adults are using public libraries and their internet connections for all manner of tasks and opportunities, and the ALA is working to demonstrate public libraries’ importance when it comes to supporting the needs of all learners.

“We know we have a lot more wireless users in the library, and we know a lot of them are students coming to collaborate with other students, log onto portals, and more,” Visser said.

Rural students, in particular, rely on the internet connections they access in their public libraries, as do home-schooled students. In public libraries, they have access to high-speed internet connections to research projects, complete assignments, work in online groups with other students, and even can participate in virtual field trips.

“The connectivity is just the foundation for all of these things that can happen to support K-12 students,” Visser said. View the ALA’s comments to the FCC here.

Reply comments are due by October 16.

In its comments, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) outlined 10 specific recommendations for the FCC, concerning: robust student connectivity, affordable access, timely modernization and equipment, advanced eligible services, access goals and flexibility, educational goals and flexibility, anytime-anywhere learning, program efficiencies, program data, and the gift rule.

Click to view SIIA’s full comments.

An education coalition including Digital Learning Now! (DLN), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Alliance for Excellent Education, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Chiefs for Change, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and Knowledge Alliance submitted comments as well.

Laura Ascione

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