FCC: E-Rate will fully fund Wi-Fi requests

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the agency’s E-Rate program will be able to fully fund Wi-Fi requests in the coming school year. The E-Rate program provides discounts and subsidies to schools and libraries for technology improvements.

As Wheeler described in his blog post, this is a huge improvement for the E-Rate program which has been unable to meet the majority of requests in the past, and failed to provide any funding for Wi-Fi in the last three years. Many schools and libraries had simply stopped applying because there was no hope of receiving funds.

The FCC Chairman noted the change is “thanks entirely to fiscal and programmatic reforms that freed up more than $1.5 billion for Wi-Fi.” The reforms include phasing out support for phones, and eliminating support for pagers and other non-broadband services that don’t benefit students. 

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