A vast majority of E-rate applicants say the federal funding is vital to their internet connectivity, especially as demand for school wi-fi is surging, according to the latest annual E-rate applicant survey from Funds For Learning.
Eighty-eight percent of surveyed applicants say more students and library patrons are online with faster connections because of E-rate funding.
Roughly half of all networks (51 percent) will need upgrades within three years due to increasing demand for wi-fi, and 88 percent of schools say they prefer a simplified approach that gives them flexibility to decide which campuses receive wi-fi support, according to the survey.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to evaluate funding regulations for broadband internet in schools and libraries to consider how connectivity demands align with program utility and efficiency. The survey is intended to provide direct feedback to the FCC to demonstrate how the E-rate can best serve applicants.