Key FCC action to advance the reform of the E-rate program
The Federal Communications Commission released yesterday a Public Notice (PN) requesting further comment regarding the E-rate program modernization reform. The E-rate program provides funding to support the telecommunications and Internet access needs of schools and libraries across the nation. This new item advances the reform launched by the FCC on July 2013 (see E-rate Modernization NPRM) and sets the stage for the implementation of Chairman Wheeler’s vision for the reform of the program as advanced in his speech of February 5, 2014 (see White House and FCC Advance Plans to Connect America’s Schools and Libraries to High-Speed Broadband: A Connected Nation Policy Brief for more information on that speech).
As reported in a related blog post, the FCC clarifies that “the Notice seeks to strengthen the record on four important issues: (1) how to best structure the program in a way that places a greater focus on connectivity inside the walls of classrooms and libraries in an equitable manner to all eligible schools and libraries; (2) whether and how to establish a one-time deployment initiative within the structure of the existing program providing targeted additional funding for those schools and libraries who remain without access to a high-speed broadband connection; (3) phasing out or reducing support for legacy voice services; and (4) ideas on potential demonstration projects.”
For more information on this important step in the reform of the E-rate program, see Connected Nation’s Policy Brief summarizing key aspects of this Public Notice"