Proposal Will Complete E-rate Modernization and Improve Connectivity for America’s Students

E-rate Modernization
On November 17, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his plan to complete the modernization of the federal E-rate program, ensuring that all of America’s schools and libraries are connected to high-speed broadband within the next five years.

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EducationSuperHighway applauds the Chairman for moving swiftly to complete E-rate modernization and bring greater educational opportunity to every student in America.

In July, the FCC took the first step to update the 18-year-old E-rate program by voting to improve transparency, set connectivity goals, phase out legacy services, and upgrade Wi-Fi in schools. But it was clear there was more work to do to bring affordable and scalable broadband to every school and library. The Chairman’s plan moves to close that gap by connecting all schools and libraries to fiber, improving the affordability of broadband through enhanced competition and choices for schools, and increasing the resources in the program to account for growing bandwidth demand.

“Chairman Wheeler has demonstrated incredible leadership and commitment to ensuring that all of America’s students can take advantage of the promise of digital learning,” said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway.

“I am encouraged by the Chairman’s proposal to improve fiber access to our rural communities and to drive down the cost of broadband by increasing the competitive options for our schools and libraries.”

Read the full FCC E-rate Modernization Order at the FCC website.

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EducationSuperHighway & Massachusetts connect residents to affordable broadband

Broadband activities are revving up in the Bay State. The timing is not a coincidence: with President Biden signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November 2021, and NTIA subsequently releasing Notices of Funding Opportunity which outline the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, Digital Equity Act, and Enabling Middle Mile Grant Infrastructure program in May 2022, states and localities find themselves in a new era of funding opportunities to finally close the digital divide. To connect the unconnected to affordable broadband, EducationSuperHighway has teamed up with organizations across Massachusetts to take advantage of this opportunity in three separate areas, described below.

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