While E-rate remains a crucial program for schools and libraries to ensure connectivity, the COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the need for increased flexibility and funds for off-campus learning.
In the 10th annual E-rate Trends Report, based on with a record-breaking 2,138 responses submitted by E-rate applicants, Funds For Learning offers an inside look at the efficacy and value of the federal E-rate program.
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“The importance of having fast, reliable internet access for schools and libraries has never been clearer,” writes John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning, in the report’s intro. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities now have a much deeper appreciation for the significant role that broadband communication plays in educating students and connecting our citizens. K-12 schools and public libraries are at the front lines of providing access to online resources, and they rely on the E-rate program to provide most of the financial support for their Internet connections.”
Key 2020 report findings include:
1. Off-campus internet is an ascendant issue for schools, communities and parents. Ninety percent of respondents report that insufficient internet access is a significant issue in their communities, and 93 percent report that they would share their discounted internet access off-campus if allowed by the FCC.