New Data: More than 90% of U.S. Public Libraries Have Used E-rate

“With more than $36 billion dollars of discounts provided to date, the Universal Service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” helps schools and libraries acquire Internet access and telecommunication products and services at affordable rates. Over the years, the E-rate program has provided critical support to public libraries that lack adequate infrastructure, helping them maintain their role as essential information hubs in communities across the country. While the program has been in existence for about 15 years, it has been difficult to determine just how many libraries have participated. Currently, the data that the Universal Services Administrative Company, the nonprofit corporation designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to administer the E-rate program, makes available on its public data tool lists the applicants but not the awardees associated with each application. E-rate applications are often submitted on behalf of many individual libraries and school.” (via UpNext: The IMLS Blog)

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