E-rate/Schools and Libraries Program
The Federal Communications Commission launched a new pilot program to make it easier for Tribal libraries to apply for broadband funding through the E-Rate program, which supports eligible schools and libraries. The FCC’s pilot will initially target 20 Tribal libraries that are new to the program or have had challenges applying in the past. The program will provide one-on-one assistance in all aspects of planning and applying for ERate support, and help participants once they successfully apply to ensure they are supported during the invoicing and other post-commitment processes.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced Denise Bambi Kraus will serve as the Chief of the Office of Native Affairs and Policy. As Chief, Kraus will further the FCC's efforts to bring the benefits of modern communications to all Native communities. The Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) assists the FCC in developing policies and programs to address the lack of adequate communications services on Tribal lands nationwide.
Milan Eaton, director of the E-Rate program for the Arizona Department of Education, uses the federal program to install high-speed internet infrastructure in schools in remote areas across AZ. According to the White House, 14% of Arizonans live in areas with no broadband infrastructure at minimally acceptable speeds.
To provide relief to E-Rate program participants affected by this unprecedented national pandemic, the FCC will extend the service implementation deadline to September 30, 2023 for certain funding year 2020 and 2021 applicants with non-recurring service deadlines that expire on September 30, 2022. In providing this relief, the FCC seeks to prevent schools and libraries from losing their funding due to circumstances out of their control, alleviate administrative burdens, and assist schools and libraries by giving them additional time to receive the equipment and services they need to serve t
At the annual National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) conference in Denver, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) highlighted the progress Congress has made to expand access to high-speed, affordable broadband and close the digital divide. In 2021, Sen. Bennet introduced the bipartisan Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy (BRIDGE) Act with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Angus King (I-MA), which was incorporated into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to make the single largest investment in broadband in history.
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau announced that there is sufficient funding available to fully meet the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) estimated demand for category one and two requests for E-Rate supported services for funding year 2022. USAC estimates the total demand for funding year 2022 will be $3.15 billion, which includes $1.64 billion for category one services and $1.51 billion for category two services.
Join Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and the State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance (SECA) and distinguished E-rate visionaries to celebrate the program's 25th anniversary of bringing affordable broadband to America's schools and libraries.
Drinks and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.
The reception is free and open to past and present supporters of the E-rate program.
Over the past two years, school districts have sent kids home with laptops and tablets in unprecedented numbers. Thousands of these devices and the internet connections that power them have been purchased through two federal subsidy programs overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) known as E-Rate and the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). Giving students these devices has led to a dramatic increase in screen time and made it more difficult for parents to protect their children from exposure to objectively harmful online content.
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on the proposed eligible services list (ESL) for the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism (more commonly known as the E-Rate program) for funding year 2023. The FCC has included its proposed eligible services list here and invites stakeholders to comment.