Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to adopt an E-rate modernization order, making changes to the program that helps subsidize communications services for schools and libraries across the country. The order aims to increase funding for wi-fi connections, streamline the application process, and encourage more efficient purchasing.
The following statement can be attributed to Danielle Kehl, Policy Analyst at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute:
“Today’s vote represents a good, albeit modest, first step toward E-rate modernization. But the FCC’s goal of providing high-speed Internet access to all students and library patrons across the country will not be successful without more aggressive changes that address the underlying connectivity challenges. While we’re encouraged that the Commission took action today in time for the 2015 funding year, it is only the beginning of a longer and broader reform process. We have been consistent in the past year in calling not just for improved Wi-Fi connectivity and a streamlined application process, but also for support for immediate infrastructure investments, clear capacity targets, better data collection, and adequate support for the fund in the long run. We look forward to working with the FCC and other stakeholders in the coming months as the modernization process continues.”