E-rate/Schools and Libraries Program

Building Blocks for a National Broadband Agenda

In the next decade, everyone in America should be able to use High-Performance Broadband.

Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s

The purpose of Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s is to collect, combine, and contribute to a national broadband agenda for the next decade, enlisting the voices of broadband leaders in an ongoing discussion on how public policy can close the digital divide and extend digital opportunity everywhere. Leaders at all levels of government should ensure that everyone is able to use High-Performance Broadband in the next decade by embracing the following building blocks of policy:

FCC Proposes Capping Fund Used to Close the Digital Divide

On Friday, May 31, the Federal Communications Commission launched a proceeding to seek comment on establishing an overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF). USF programs provide subsidies that make telecommunications and broadband services more available and affordable for millions of Americans. The NPRM asks a lot of questions over how to cap the programs. But a crucial one we ask: Does this NPRM actually move the U.S. closer to closing the digital divide?

Affordable Broadband for Students Hinges on FCC’s EBS Proceeding

I know firsthand what it’s like living on the wrong side of the digital divide because my local community in rural Minnesota has been experiencing it for far too long. That is one of the reasons why I founded A Better Wireless, a wireless ISP that is seeking to connect rural Minnesotans who lack affordable broadband access. 

Why is the FCC Talking about a USF Cap?

The Benton Foundation unequivocally opposes any proposals from the Federal Communications Commission that would allow the FCC to shirk its responsibilities to meet its Congressionally-mandated mission. The FCC is supposed to ensure:

Benton Foundation, EducationSuperHighway Highlight E-rate Administration Flaws

The Benton Foundation and EducationSuperHighway met with Federal Communications Commission Wireline Competition Bureau staff and separately with legal advisors to Chairman Pai and Commissioners Rosenworcel and Starks on March 7, 2019, to discuss a white paper on E-rate.

Broadband Dollars in Demand

As another Covid-era school year begins, it’s not just local and state governments and internet providers that are desperate for broadband cash. A coalition representing schools and libraries is urging Congress to replenish funding for a Federal Communications Commission funding program aimed at boosting connectivity for students, school staff and library patrons.

FCC Announces Over $5 Billion in Emergency Connectivity Fund Requests

The Federal Communications Commission has received requests for $5.137 billion to fund 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections as part of the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Emergency Connectivity Fund Application Window Opens June 29

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced schools and libraries can begin to file applications on June 29 for the newly established $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. During the 45-day application filing window, which will run from June 29 to August 13, eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services for the 2021-22 school year. Through the program, schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase l

White House hires broadband expert Lisa Hone

Lisa Hone, a longtime Federal Communications Commission attorney with deep expertise in broadband policy, has joined the National Economic Council team to steer the Biden administration's broadband expansion efforts. Hone's primary focus is ensuring that money Congress allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act is spent appropriately. Hone, who officially started her job as senior adviser for broadband and technology policy the week of May 31, is now the White House's point person on broadband deployment efforts happening across the government.