A large majority of E-rate applicants (87 percent) said the federally funded program is vital to their internet connectivity goals, according to an annual survey that tracks program applicants’ perspectives on the program.
In the midst of leadership changes in the White House and the FCC, as well as education budget cuts, ed-tech stakeholders have raised questions regarding the promise of the E-rate program to deliver safe and proper broadband connections to students in the U.S.
According to initial feedback from Funds For Learning’s annual E-rate applicant survey, E-rate recipients continue to rely on E-rate funding to provide connectivity for schools and libraries across the nation.
Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents said they have faster internet connections to their sites because of E-rate, and 78 percent said they were able to connect more students and library patrons to the internet because of the E-rate program.
“Certainly, the E-rate program is not without its challenges, but the fundamental nature of the program remains as strong as ever,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “While the political climate has shifted, one thing has remained the same: E-rate is vital and will continue to play an indispensable role in connecting schools and communities.”
(Next page: How one school is putting E-rate funding to work)