Overview

From the Administration

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“In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why shouldn’t we have it in our schools? We can’t be stuck in the 19th century when we’re living in a 21st-century economy.”

President Barack Obama, June 2014, Mooresville Middle School, North Carolina

Access to high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi is now as vital a component of K-12 school infrastructure as electricity, air conditioning, and heating. The same tools and resources that have transformed our personal, civic, and professional lives must be part of learning experiences intended to prepare today’s students for college and careers. College students rely on technology for academic success and to improve personal productivity. In the workplace, everyone from mechanics to accountants to physicians depends on technology to conduct their work, grow their businesses, and collaborate with their colleagues – both locally and globally.

E-Rate and E-Rate Modernization

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program provides most schools and libraries with discounted rates for specific services and products related to telecommunications services, telecommunications, internet access, internal connections and basic maintenance. The amount of the discount depends on the level of poverty and location of the school or library. Schools should consider researching their E-Rate eligibility.

In 2014, after over a year of deliberation, the FCC updated the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) by implementing programmatic changes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the program ensuring E-rate money is spent smartly, improving program administration, focusing on closing the Wi-Fi gap, dramatically increase funding for school broadband while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st Century broadband connectivity. The updating took place in two phases, on July 11, 2014 the FCC released the first E-rate Modernization Order (see Order Summary) and on December 11, 2014 the FCC released the second E-rate Modernization Order. To stay most up to date on the E-rate Modernization process visit: http://www.fcc.gov/e-rate-update.
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