EDMOND, OKLA. JUNE 26, 2018 - The Federal Communications Commission soon will evaluate funding regulations for broadband internet in schools and libraries to consider how connectivity demands align with program utility and efficiency.
In order to provide direct feedback to the FCC and understand how E-rate funding can best serve applicants, Funds For Learning releases its annual E-Rate Trends Report. Applicant survey results reveal that schools and libraries remain reliant on E-rate funding to provide and sustain broadband connectivity.
“The responses we received show us just how important it is for the E-rate program to continue fulfilling its mission,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “Rising demand for Wi-Fi access indicates that applicants will increasingly depend on reliable connections to provide high quality education in coming years.”
Key provisions of the 2014 E-rate Modernization Order that expanded federal support for broadband internet connections will expire in 2020. The FCC calls upon stakeholders to present insights to determine how the program will serve schools and libraries in the upcoming decade.
Key 2018 survey findings include:
- E-rate is fulfilling its mission. 88 percent of applicants agree that E-rate funding is vital to their internet connectivity. More students and library patrons are online – and have faster connections – because of E-rate support.
- Wi-Fi demand is surging. 51 percent of networks will need upgrades within three years. 88 percent of schools favor a simplified approach that gives them flexibility to choose which campuses receive Wi-Fi support.
- Schools and libraries need dependable internet. 74 percent of applicants want the FCC to allow support for backup internet connections. Only 13 percent of applicants reported that they can presently afford backup internet.
This year, approximately 1,025 applicants completed the E-rate applicant survey, representing about five percent of all school and library applicants nationwide. The report will aid and inform key policymakers and administrative members in refreshing the vitality of the program.
Visit https://www.fundsforlearning.com/2018ErateTrends to download the complete 2018 Trends Report.
About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit http://www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.