FCC approves $1.5B E-rate increase

Stakeholders rally in support of E-rate’s potential to expand 21st-century learning to students

E-rate-FCCThe Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 11 voted to increase funding to the federal E-rate program by $1.5 billion. The additional funding comes from a consumer telephone bill increase of $1.90 per year.

Ed-tech stakeholders have for years rallied behind the need to update the federal program, which helps schools and libraries receive discounts on broadband access and services.

The vote brings the annual program cap from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion.

“Broadband is the greatest equalizer of our time, but this only holds true if everyone has access,” said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in comments before the vote.

“Broadband and connected devices are changing every aspect of our lives,” said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “So many of our social spaces are now virtual. Plus the combined power of mobility and cloud computing means we can take content with us wherever we go. All this change does not simply stop at the school doors.”

(Next page: Educators react to the E-rate vote)

Laura Ascione

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