FCC aims to expand broadband access in schools

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Districts may have more affordable access to broadband internet service as early as fall 2014, thanks to an FCC proposal to reform the federal E-rate program that connects schools and public libraries to the internet. The proposal marks a step forward for President Barack Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring high-speed internet access to 99 percent of U.S. students within five years.

The FCC wants to increase high-speed Wi-Fi networks in classrooms and libraries, and create consortiums of school districts that will purchase technological needs in bulk to drive down costs. The FCC also proposes using a faster application process for funds, as the current system requires a lot of paperwork and schools sometimes wait years for the money.