The FCC voted another $1.5 billion to E-Rate, a federal subsidy program that brings high speed broadband to schools and libraries, and advocates, including the American Library Assocation and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, are voicing their cheer.
The Federal Communications Commission voted December 11 to bump up funding for WiFi in schools and libraries by another $1.5 billion, increasing the budget to $3.9 billion a year.
FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler is expected to propose raising the annual fund for school Internet access from $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion, reports the New York Times. Part of the overhaul of E-Rate, the expected upgrades to service will come to libraries, too.
On July 11, the FCC narrowly passed the “Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” for the Program to Modernize E-Rate which translates into $2 billion over the next two years towards WiFi funding in schools and libraries.
On July 11, a big E-Rate vote for Wi-Fi funding for schools and libraries is coming up. The latest FCC proposal states that libraries’ Wi-Fi funding be determined by a space’s square footage—$1 per square foot. With $2 billion at stake, librarians across the country are objecting to this funding formula with claims that it doesn’t serve high-need urban libraries where square footage does not represent the number of visitors.
As part of ongoing effort to provide schools and libraries tools in assessing and improving connectivity, an education technology advocacy group releases e-rate guideline.
Here are our latest briefs on a digital publishing mini-MOOC, free Mackin ebook bundles, Qlovi’s Common Core platform, an archived copyright tweetchat, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Philadelphia’s Year of the Bard, the E-Rate filing window, and the NAACP Image Awards.
The Education Library Networks Coalition—which includes the American Library Association and the International Society for Technology in Education—is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to double the funding for E-rate, according to EdLiNC’s co-chair Jon Bernstein. The coalition also asks that the E-rate program offer more “scalable” goals for local entities, with limited national mandates.
The American Library Association on Monday asked the Federal Communications Commission to accelerate the goals of E-rate, the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries. ALA’s statement specifically calls for faster deployment of high-capacity broadband and new strategic investments in infrastructure, as well as program changes to save costs and streamline the process so that more schools and libraries can participate in the program.
Linda Lord, Maine’s state librarian, represented the nation’s 16,400 public libraries Wednesday in her call to Congress to provide a “proactive vision for meeting the educational and learning needs of our communities for the next 15 years and beyond.” Her testimony—at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation—also detailed the success of the E-rate program in helping serve more than 30 million people every week.
The White House’s announcement last week of the ConnectEd initiative, President Obama’s urging of the FCC to overhaul the E-Rate program, is only the first step in what must be a larger, committed effort to fully fund technology in our nation’s schools and libraries, the International Society for Technology in Education says.
The White House’s announcement Thursday that it is urging the FCC to overhaul E-Rate—the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries—is an important and nearly unprecedented step forward in closing the digital divide, the American Library Association tells SLJ.