E-rate Overview and Potential Changes

Today, E-rate funding represents about $2.3 billion for schools and libraries, while demand for E-rate funds exceeded $5.2 billion in 2012 amid significant new interest among schools in digital learning and technology tools that will enable shifts toward next generation assessments and Common Core-aligned materials.

At an FCC Oversight hearing in March of this year, Sen. Rockefeller called for an expansion of the E-Rate program, suggesting that between $5-9 billion should be added over the rest of the decade to ensure schools have broadband speeds of a least 1 gigabyte per second. Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked mayors to support one-gigabit internet access for schools by 2015.

The FCC is currently considering a rulemaking that may propose or ask for comments on a number of E-rate reforms with significant market and funding implications for a wide range of educational technology products and solutions.

    The following issue brief provides important background on the E-rate program, updates, and a high level overview of the FCC's rulemaking process. For additional information on E-rate changes or rulemaking process, please contact Erica Price at Erica@WhiteboardAdvisors.com.