E-rate changes promote broadband

The Federal Communications Commission has released the longanticipated National Broadband Orders, which lays out the agency’s plan to promote affordable broadband access. While the plan affects a number of government programs, some of its most sweeping changes involve the current E-rate program.

The most significant announcement for E-rate participants is that the funding cap will be indexed to general economy inflation in an effort to stifle depreciation and increase the number of applicants vying for Priority 2 funding for internal connection projects. The commission is also allowing applicants to open up E-rate–funded services to the community for after-hours use so long as it does not interfere with educational purposes.

For more information on the E-rate program, visit www.fundsforlearning.com.