ISTE Applauds FCC Vote to Increase E-Rate Fund - Tech Learning

ISTE Applauds FCC Vote to Increase E-Rate Fund

Additional Investment Provides Much-Needed Support for Digital Learning
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 11, 2014 – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to make an additional $1.5 billion in E-Rate funds available to schools and libraries to pay for fiber-optic lines, Wi-Fi access points and the cost of internet service. For years, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®)and its members have advocated for an increase in the E-Rate annual funding cap to address the ever increasing need for high-speed broadband. ISTE applauds FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as well as Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn for their leadership on this historic order and for listening to the requests from educators across the country.

“ISTE is grateful to Chairman Wheeler for his bold leadership to increase the E-Rate fund. This additional investment to deliver high-speed connectivity to schools provides the basic infrastructure educators need to successfully deliver digital age learning,” said ISTE CEO Brian Lewis. “The future of learning means students need to be connected 24/7; the next step is to improve access for all students at home so learning isn’t interrupted. ISTE will to continue to work with the commission to connect students where they live and where they learn beyond the bell.”

The additional support from E-Rate means schools and districtscan explore how to reallocate operating funds previously set aside for infrastructure to other priorities, such as teacher professional development, devices and digital curriculum.

Dallas Dance, Ph.D., superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools and member of the ISTE Board of Directors, talked about the impact of the FCC’s actions during a panel at the commission meeting.

"School systems across our country are extremely grateful to the Federal Communications Commission for its historic decision today,” said Dance. “The commission made the right decision because in order for America’s students to be globally competitive and prepared, it is essential that all classrooms are connected and provide opportunities to truly attain the 21st century skills that are so critical to our future."

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

ISTE's innovative offerings include the ISTE Conference and Expo — one of the biggest, most comprehensive ed tech events — as well as the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and a robust suite of professional learning resources, including webinars, online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.



ISTE Members Petition FCC to Support President Obama’s ConnectEd Initiative and Reinvest in E-Rate

Educators Sign Petition in Support of Increased Classroom Broadband AccessWASHINGTON, D.C. – July 11, 2013 – The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) delivered a petition to the three current Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging them to take action to “accomplish the goals of the ConnectEd initiative to ensure that all of our nation’s classrooms have high speed broadband connectivity and all educators have the professional learning and access to digital resources they need for students to compete in the global 21st century economy.”

ISTE Files E-Rate Petition Signed by More Than 1,500 Educators

CEO Brian Lewis Issues Response to FCC Chairman Wheeler’s E-Rate Order WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 8, 2014 – The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) today filed a petition, signed by more than 1,500 educators, urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize E-Rate and to #RaiseTheErateCap prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year.

ISTE Encourages Educators to Speak Up on E-rate

Fifteen Days Remain to Share E-Rate Success Stories With Federal Communications CommissionWASHINGTON, D.C. –Oct. 2, 2013 – For the next 15 days, educators will have a rare opportunity to directly impact decisions about E-rate policy in Washington, D.C. It’s an unconventional prospect given the budget impasse, which caused the government to shut down yesterday.Due to this unfortunate turn of events, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) electronic filing system will be unavailable until normal government operations resume. To assist educators who want to file comments about the E-rate before the October 16 deadline, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) has created a simple and easy-to-complete, online form. Educators can send their comments and ISTE will assist them in making their filings when the government reopens.

Survey Says: E-Rate Program, Increased Funding Critical for Success

As the need for student Internet access increases, the E-rate program is at a crossroads. To stimulate discussion on this topic, Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate consulting firm, releases the results of its 2014 E-rate Survey at the ISTE 2014 Conference and Expo in Atlanta. The data serves to inform debate over the direction of the program and involve those who haven’t had an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

Nov. 8: New Deadline for Filing Comments on E-Rate

ISTE Urges Educators to Share E-Rate Success Stories With Federal Communications CommissionWASHINGTON, D.C. –Oct. 31, 2013 –There’s still time to have an impact on the future of the E-Rate thanks to the extension of the deadline for filing comments to Nov. 8. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted this extension following the recent 16-day government shut down.“The impact of the E-Rate program on our schools has been transformational, but as technology evolves, so must E-Rate. That is why I called for the FCC to begin a proceeding to update the program. Now is the time for educators and educational professionals from around the Nation to weigh in with the FCC. We must help build a record about the need for next-generation Internet connectivity in our schools and libraries," said United States Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV. "The global economy demands an increasingly educated workforce with higher skills and strong backgrounds in science, math and technology. Our students must have access to high-speed Internet connectivity to gain the skills necessary to compete.”