Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Are Changes Coming to E-Rate? the FCC Puts out a Call for Feedback on Proposed Alterations to the Federally Funded Telecommunications Program

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Are Changes Coming to E-Rate? the FCC Puts out a Call for Feedback on Proposed Alterations to the Federally Funded Telecommunications Program

Article excerpt

MAJOR CHANGES may be coming to the federal E-Rate program as soon as the 2009-2010 school year, and educators and other stakeholders can have a say in whether or not those changes occur.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC; www.fcc.gov) recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) outlining a number of proposed revisions to the program, which provides qualifying schools and libraries with discounts on communication technologies and services. The notice allows the FCC to obtain public comments on proposed changes to the program, including whether certain services should be deemed eligible for E-Rate funding.

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Specifically, the FCC is seeking opinions from stakeholders on whether costs for the following items should be discounted through the E-Rate program: advanced firewalls; filtering, antivirus, and anti-spam software; text messaging; scheduling services and software; telephone broadcast messaging; and dark fiber. The organization is also seeking opinions on proposed changes to the definitions of voice over IP and basic telephone service, and on the interpretation of the Children's Internet Protection Act, which imposes certain requirements on institutions that receive E-Rate money. …

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