Tag Archives: E-Rate

FCC E-rate action expands broadband opportunities for libraries

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a landmark E-rate modernization order that addresses the broadband capacity gap facing many public libraries. In response, American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young released the following statement: “Connecting America’s libraries with high-capacity broadband connects our communities with opportunity and changes lives. Sometimes the government’s words are far greater than their actions—today is not one of those times. The Commission’s action is monumental and will make a critical difference for the libraries and schools in our nation, and even more importantly for the communities and students they serve. (via ALA)

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Rockefeller, Markey Raise Concerns Over FCC’s Proposed Changes to E-Rate Program

“Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), member of the Senate Commerce Committee, this week voiced serious concerns and urged Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler not to move forward with several proposed changes that they fear could jeopardize the E-Rate program. In addition, the Senators called on the FCC Chairman to raise E-Rate’s permanent funding cap.” (via Commerce, Science, and Transportation)

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The big city library as Internet provider

“As our Brian Fung detailed last week, some of the United States’ bigger urban library systems have begun lodging a public protest against the formula federal rulemakers are considering for the distribution of billions of dollars for wireless Internet infrastructure. The Federal Communications Commission is thinking of divvying up so-called E-Rate funds to libraries based on square footage rather than users or some other metric, a calculation that city libraries argue gives an unfair advantage to their more sprawling suburban counterparts. And now perhaps the biggest name in the U.S. public libraries has dipped into the debate.” (via The Washington Post)

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E-rate reform: A sustainable path forward for school and library connectivity

“A year ago, President Obama unveiled the ConnectED initiative, declaring that his goal was to connect virtually every school in the United States to high-speed Internet by the end of the decade. A key piece of the administration’s plan is reforming the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate program, which subsidizes communications services for schools and libraries across the country. There’s been a flurry of activity in the past year aimed at addressing the broadband gaps that make it increasingly difficult for schools and libraries to use 21st century digital-learning tools. A wide range of stakeholders weighed in during two rounds of comments at the FCC, and everyone from Obama to local leaders and tech CEOs have called to upgrade America’s aging broadband infrastructure. Now, as students and teachers prepare for summer break, the FCC is gearing up to make changes in time to impact the 2015 E-rate funding cycle. The exact details are still being ironed out, but it’s clear that more reforms will be needed in addition to those being discussed for the commission’s open meeting in July.” (via The Hill)

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Libraries Seek High-Speed Broadband

“The federal E-Rate program has been a boon for schools and public libraries across the country, helping them acquire Internet access and telecommunications products at affordable or vastly discounted rates. But the sleek new computers, laptops and tablets do not mean much without high-quality broadband service to match. At a public hearing on Thursday held by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the group said there was an urgent need to equip libraries with high-speed access to information. Without it, they say, the nation’s “opportunity gap” is growing.” (via NYTimes.com)

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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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F.C.C. Backs Plan to Update a Fund That Helps Connect Schools to the Internet

“The Federal Communications Commission voted on Friday to overhaul and possibly expand its E-Rate program, a $2.3 billion effort to provide schools and libraries with up-to-date telecommunications service and equipment, including high-speed Internet connections. A proposal approved by the commission, which will be made available for public comment before a final version is completed, calls for funds to be moved away from outdated uses like paying for paging service and long-distance phone calls and into areas that will accelerate digital literacy, like Wi-Fi connections within a school or library.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Obama to Seek More Internet Aid for Schools and Libraries

“President Obama is expected on Thursday to call on the Federal Communications Commission to expand its program to provide discounted high-speed Internet service to schools and libraries, even if it means increasing the fees that are tacked on to consumers’ monthly phone bills.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Rockefeller Says E-Rate Should Expand to Connect More Students to High-Speed Broadband

Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement on updating and expanding high-speed broadband connections to schools and libraries through the E-Rate program. Today, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build next-generation broadband in schools and libraries to give students access to the latest technology.” (via U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation)

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Schools could get an Internet speed boost under FCC proposal

Post Tech – “The Federal Communications Commission is set to reform an annual $2 billion E-Rate fund, aimed to bring faster and more affordable Internet connections to classrooms and libraries. The program has doled out more than $22 billion since it was launched in 1998, helping to bring Internet connections to nearly all classrooms in America. But the connections have been slow and costly, and the Government Accountabilty Office said last year the FCC hadn’t set clear goals for E-Rate.”

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