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.
“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.