NLC Weighs in on E-Rate
NLC applauded recent efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to modernize and streamline the federal E-Rate program. In comments to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, NLC emphasized the value of the E-Rate program and the benefit it is bringing to communities through schools and libraries. Earlier this year, NLC called on the agency to take these steps.
Since its inception in 1997, the E-Rate program has been successful in providing increased access to modern communications networks to our nation's schools and libraries. The availability and adoption of quality broadband service can vary dramatically from one neighborhood to another, even in heavily populated urban areas. Community schools and libraries can fill this gap by providing local residents with access to broadband and computing hardware that may be cost prohibitive for individuals. However, because the program is so oversubscribed, many communities' residents are unable to rely on their schools and libraries to get online. The FCC's E-Rate order aims to modernize the program and streamline the applications process so that funding can be used more effectively and efficiently.