E-rate and Classroom Broadband Access
The FCC approved a historic funding increase in fall 2014, but work to re-vamp the E-rate program continues.
Strengthening and expanding the E-rate program is a top priority of our advocacy efforts.
CoSN works closely with the FCC, the White House Domestic Policy Council, Congress, and national education stakeholder groups to ensure that districts will continue to realize the benefits of the E-rate. The FCC approved a historic funding increase in fall 2014, but work to re-vamp the program continues.
CoSN is proud to share good news from the FCC: the E-rate program will fully fund the $3.9 billion sought by schools and libraries for 2015. This includes a meaningful new investment of $1.6 billion for internal Wi-Fi networks, identified by CoSN members as a major need during the 2013 and 2014 proceedings that strengthened and expanded the program. You can read more about this important development in a new blog post by FCC Chairman Wheeler.
What's CoSN Doing?
E-rate reform continues to grab headlines in Washington, and CoSN is at the forefront of E-Rate advocacy.
· We conducted the 2nd Annual E-rate and Infrastructure Survey (in partnership with AASA and MDR), which revealed troubling gaps in US school districts' broadband and technology infrastructure and helped to inform recent FCC deliberations. Affordability and adequate funding are the most significant barriers to Internet connectivity.
· CoSN filed comments with the with the Federal Communications Commission on reform of the Lifeline Program. A second filing provided additional information on bandwidth needs of students outside of school.
· CoSN has prepared talking points for you to use on this issue
· CoSN joined a coalition of public interest groups, tech companies and industry associations calling on the White House to push to open up the 5.9 GHz band for Wi-Fi, sharing the spectrum otherwise dedicated to short-range communications (DSRC) service systems
What Can You Do?
Thank you to all CoSN members who took the time to contact the FCC this fall. Your voice was heard! Please remember to join the CoSN Advocacy Network to keep up to date on all policy developments.