Utah’s schools and libraries are able to obtain discounts on telecommunications and Internet access through funds from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program. Recently, the FCC announced they are seeking comments on changes to the E-rate program, which will likely be updated next year.
The FCC is looking for comments on how to best focus E-rate funds in three specific areas:
- How to focus E-Rate funds on high-capacity broadband, especially high-speed Wi-Fi and internal connections.
- Whether and how the FCC should begin to phase down or phase out support for traditional voice services in order to focus more funding on broadband.
- Whether there are demonstration projects or experiments that could help test ways for more cost effective purchasing.
The E-rate program is part of the FCC’s Universal Service Fund that helps to support schools and libraries with discounts up to 90 percent, connecting eligible schools and libraries in the United States. This program has helped drive broadband deployment throughout the State of Utah, strengthening Utah’s education system, community and economic development.
Comments are due April 7, and complete details can be found here.