At an event in Mooresville, North Carolina June 6, 2013, President Barack Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to revamp the Schools and Libraries program, known as E-rate, to help provide institutions with Internet speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second and wireless networks throughout their buildings and campuses. The following can be attributed to Benton Foundation Chairman Charles Benton:
“If the U.S. is to lead the world in 21st century educational innovation, we must invest now in the networks that connect our schools and libraries. Since the mid-1990s, the Benton Foundation has been examining the role of the Internet in the classroom. We know that with next-generation wireline and wireless networks, students and teachers can expand instruction beyond the physical classroom and traditional school day. With broadband networks, schools can provide more customized learning opportunities for students to access high-quality, low-cost and personally relevant educational material. And use of these networks can also improve the flow of educational information, allowing teachers, parents and organizations to make better decisions tied to each student’s needs and abilities.
“I commend the President on his commitment to education and his understanding on the vital role of telecommunications in expanding educational opportunity and improving educational outcomes. This is just the kind of bold proposal our country needs to realize the National Broadband Plan goal of bringing gigabit broadband service to every community in the U.S."
The Benton Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting communication in the public interest. These comments reflect the institutional view of the Foundation and, unless obvious from the text, are not intended to reflect the views of individual Foundation officers, directors, or advisors.