Having broadband access is critical for educators and students to engage in powerful, personalized learning experiences. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Schools and Libraries Universal Service program, commonly known as the E-Rate program, helps schools and libraries to obtain affordable broadband. The FCC’s E-Rate program and Lifeline provide needed funding to bridge the digital divide and support equitable access to broadband connectivity in schools and libraries, as well as homes. The E-Rate program provides more than $2 billion to communities and schools for expanding access to educational resources and opportunities. The E-Rate program funds connectivity and infrastructure for broadband enabling high-speed access to the Internet for learning purposes. Increasing access to high-quality educational opportunities is important for building the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in college and careers.
- The FCC should support the continued expansion of broadband infrastructure and increased access to Wi-Fi in schools and homes by ensuring that funding caps for the E-Rate and Lifeline programs are sufficient to meet need.
- Congress should fund pilots and research to identify and scale up innovative approaches to expanding anytime, anywhere broadband access in high-poverty and rural communities.
October 19, 2021
Aurora Institute’s Federal Policy Priorities: Charting a New Path for America’s Learners
January 27, 2019