CoSN: E-rate Modernization Requires ‘Long-Term, Sufficient’ Funding
Washington, DC (June 20, 2014) – CoSN
(Consortium for School Networking) CEO Keith Krueger today responded to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to modernize the E-rate program:
“The Chairman’s proposal includes important and timely policy measures that would strengthen E-rate for the next generation of students. Specifically, his plan would promote broadband access to classrooms, enhance pricing transparency and build the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) capacity to help applicants meet their students’ technology needs – all critical elements for moving the country’s educational systems forward.
“However, to meet E-rate’s high-capacity broadband goals and achieve President Obama’s laudable vision of connecting 99 percent of American students by 2018, timely policy action and long-term, sufficient funding is crucial. Reaching the President’s ConnectEd goals requires, ultimately, raising the E-rate cap and greater investment in broadband connections as well as Wi-Fi and local area networks to deliver a connected, transformative learning environment to our educators and students. We need predictable, ongoing support, not simply one-time investments.”
Last month, CoSN and EducationSuperHighway released a cost analysis estimating that it would take at least $800 million per year in additional E-rate funds to ensure all students have access to Wi-Fi through needed internal connection upgrades by 2018, and at least $1.6 billion per year in ongoing internal connections support after that. In addition, school districts continue to need significant additional resources to provide every student with access to sufficient broadband connectivity. Read more here