E-rate Requests Surpass $5 Billion for 2012

Requests for discounts on certain communications services increased for the fourth straight year as schools and libraries across the nation requested more than $5 billion in E-rate funds for Funding Year 2012. The requested amount marks the second in the 15-year history of the E-rate program that applicant demand has exceeded the $5 billion threshold.

Participating in its 15th filing window, Funds For Learning cited the continued increase in requested funding to schools’ and libraries’ need for higher bandwidth and Internet services.

Created as a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the E-rate program provides approximately $2.3 billion annually in discounts on certain services and products that are essential for classrooms and libraries to receive voice, video and data communications – less than 50 percent the total requested amount for 2012.

Funds For Learning has been an active leader in an effort to secure more E-rate funding for applicants.

Anticipating an increased demand for E-rate funds, John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning, penned an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting that the commission increase the available funding in the E-rate program.

Funds For Learning invites E-rate stakeholders and supporters to sign the online petition before it is delivered to the FCC in late 2012.