The impending decision by the FCC to maintain or repeal Net Neutrality raises questions about how internet regulation could impact connectivity for U.S. schools and libraries. To help educate and support discussions regarding the importance of broadband connection and E-rate funding, Funds For Learning releases its annual 2017 E-rate Trends Report.
Based on a survey of approximately 1,100 participants who closely resemble the total population of E-rate applicants, the 2017 E-rate Trends Report analyzes the strengths of the program in supporting connectivity goals and highlights areas for improvement. Results include:
· Data and internet services accounted for $2.5 billion of the $4.9 billion in services supported by E-rate.
· 90 percent of survey respondents expect their school or district’s internet bandwidth to increase over the next three years.
· Only 18 percent of survey respondents believe that the current budget cap is sufficient to meet their school’s needs.
· 55 percent of respondents would change the Eligible Services list to include Voice Services.
· 73 percent of respondents believe that insufficient off-campus internet access for students or library patrons is a significant issue in their community.
· 44 percent of respondents do not believe that the E-rate application program is fast, simple and efficient.
To read the full news release, click here.