E-Rate program is under consideration by the FFC

The Brown Center Chalkboard raised concerns that the Federal Communications Commission (FFC) might change some rules of the E-Rate program which provides discounts for telecommunications, Internet access, and Internal connections to schools and libraries. The FFC proposed a cap for E-Rate spending which will decrease the fund allotted to subsidise Internet access in schools across the United States. On September 19, 30 U.S. senators called upon FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to ‘discard any plans for setting an overall cap for the Universal Service Fund (USF) programs. Such a proposal would harm broadband deployment, rural health care opportunities, classroom learning, and life-long learning through public libraries by forcing them to compete in order to receive necessary funds. The USF programs have been key to moving the country toward the goal of universal connectivity throughout America and placing an overall cap on the USF programs would threaten this necessary progress,’ Senators highlighted. Brown Center Chalkboard further stressed that this will hamper the support to the few remaining school districts that lack adequate Internet connections.