Connectivity goals of 1 Mbps per student of Internet access, wide area networks scalable to 10 Gbps per 1,000 students, and ubiquitous Wi-Fi means schools have clear broadband targets to support digital learning.
Funding for wireless means all schools will be eligible to take advantage of a $150 per student budget to improve Wi-Fi access.
Price transparency means increased negotiating power and lower prices for broadband access and network equipment.
Phase-out of legacy services like paging and voice means double the funding for broadband to support technology use in the classroom.
While the E-rate program was enormously successful in bringing basic telephone and broadband to schools and classrooms, the connectivity provided is no longer sufficient.
-Select Members of Congress in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission
The E-rate of yesterday…needs to be updated to support today’s Gigabit fiber and Wi-Fi connectivity. Modernizing E-rate is critical for our students and teachers.
-Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Investing in high-speed broadband infrastructure and wireless network upgrades for schools and libraries is an educational necessity and an economic imperative for our country.
-Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard Company
While the E-rate decision in July 2014 takes a major step forward, it does not ensure that every school and library will have access to the connectivity it needs at a price it can afford. We urge the Commission to finish the job of E-rate modernization and ensure that every school has the connectivity it needs.
The FCC’s E-rate modernization order will provide organizations like ours with data on the broadband infrastructure in every school district and the prices that districts are paying for their connectivity. This represents an unprecedented opportunity to: