To receive E-Rate support, applicants must follow specific procedures established by the Federal Communications Commission and use an online portal called EPC. Applicants use the EPC system to notify vendors of Requests for Proposals (RFPs), report the results of their local competitive bidding process, and submit funding requests to USAC, the E‐rate program administrator. The purpose of this white paper is to provide data and applicant feedback about the performance of the current system.
In April 2021, State District Court Judge Matthew Wilson in New Mexico ordered school officials to take steps to provide the needed devices and broadband connections for students who are forced to attend school remotely. This ruling was made during the deepest part of the pandemic when most schools in New Mexico were shut down. His ruling was based upon complaints that The New Mexico Public Education Department was not complying with a court decision in the case of Yazzie/Martinez v.
Tucson Connected, a public-private partnership in Arizona, aims to link the digital inclusion efforts of several entities in a unified effort to reach residents. The project, which launched in the fall of 2021, is meant to unify a number of entities with a stake in increasing regional digital equity and address the barriers impeding Internet adoption. The coalition’s primary focus will be identifying barriers and connecting stakeholders to available subsidies.
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is opening a third application filing window to award at least $1 billion in Emergency Connectivity Fund support. The third application filing window will open on April 28, 2022 and close on May 13, 2022. During this third application filing window, eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.
The Biden Administration celebrated the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan Act last week. The law aimed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. Broadband played a big role. A year later, we look at the types of broadband projects the American Rescue Plan Act is funding.
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau announces the E-Rate and Rural Health Care (RHC) programs’ funding caps for funding year 2022. The new caps represent a 4.2% inflation-adjusted increase in each program cap from funding year 2021. The E-Rate program funding cap for funding year 2022 is $4,456,460,992. The new cap represents a 4.2% inflation-adjusted increase in the $4,276,833,965 cap from funding year 2021.
Val Verde, California, School District Broadband Network Provides Case Study for Closing the Digital Divide
A public-private partnership to provide internet connectivity for residents in the Val Verde Unified School District (USD) serves as a model case study for broadband deployment to hard-to-reach populations. Val Verde USD, located in Riverside County (CA) will work with hybrid network provider GeoLinks to establish the first-ever broadband service explicitly for families of the school district, with low-income households receiving the service for free.
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is committing $63,613,404.33 in the 11th wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund program support, helping to close the Homework Gap. Since its June 2021 launch, the program has committed nearly $4.69 billion in funding connecting over 12.5 million students with broadband connections and equipment. This latest round of funding is supporting schools and libraries across the country, including providing connected devices and broadband connections for students in central Maine, Puerto Rico, Alaska, California, and South Carolina.
FCC Commits Another $86 Million In Emergency Connectivity Funding To Support Students And Libraries And Help Close The Homework Gap
The Federal Communications Commission is committing over $86 million in the 10th wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund program support. Since its June 2021 launch, the program has committed over $4.62 billion supporting all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia.