FCC aims to simplify e-Rate, expand funding

New rules may impact schools' e-Rate funding.
New rules may impact schools' e-Rate funding.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new e-Rate rules designed to simplify the program and bring discounts on networking services to more schools and libraries.

Among other actions, the FCC wants to index the e-Rate to inflation. That would result in the first increase in funding to the $2.25 billion-a-year program since it began more than a decade ago.

But executives attending the Software and Information Industry Association’s annual Education Technology Industry Summit in San Francisco expressed disappointment in the FCC’s proposal, saying it doesn’t go far enough in meeting schools’ needs.…Read More

Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2009: No. 10

Schools are focusing more than ever on internet safety education.
Schools are focusing more than ever on internet safety education.

In November, the Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules stating that schools and libraries receiving federal e-Rate funding would have to submit proof they’ve implemented web-safety education programs along with their applications.

The new rules came in response to legislation passed late last year requiring schools to teach their students about safe and responsible internet use. But many schools didn’t wait for the FCC’s action, instead taking a proactive approach to compliance with the new law.

Judi Westberg Warren, president of the internet safety-education group Web Wise Kids, said earlier this year that her organization has seen an increased number of schools reaching out to Web Wise Kids for guidance on how to properly educate students and teachers about internet safety.…Read More