Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NLJ: How an Obscure Regulatory Process Could Spark an Education Revolution

The National Law Journal reported yesterday about the Federal Communications Commission meeting that may make President Obama's ConnectED initiative -- to connect 99% of America’s classrooms with high-speed internet within 5 years -- closer to reality. On Friday, the FCC will take a step towards revamping the E-Rate program, which the NLJ says may be the real education revolution of the summer. The E-Rate program is the government's largest educational technology program which subsidizes broadband connectivity at schools and libraries across the country. If the FCC succeeds in restructuring the rate this Friday, the move could soon bring digital technology into classrooms across the country. Telecommunication consumers can expect a temporary increase of about 35 cents in their monthly E-rate fee per phone line and perhaps less if the FCC can find savings from the existing program. Like all funding issues, providing internet connectivity to students is more complicated than it sounds. Telecommunications companies' pricing schemes are rarely transparent or uniform across geographical areas and it will not be easy to decide if the per pupil cost of high speed broadband is feasible in smaller school districts. Read more at the National Law Journal here.


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