Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Files E-Rate Comments, Urges FCC to Increase Cap

Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Files E-Rate Comments, Urges FCC to Increase Cap

Article excerpt

ALA submitted a response November 23 to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) call for comments on broadband needs in education, including changes to the e-rate program to improve broadband deployment.

The e-rate program is nearing the day when it will not be able to fund all of the most urgent or priority one requests, much less other important requests, because it is currently capped at $2.25 billion per year--a level unchanged from the program's inception in 1997.

The Association is urging the FCC to increase the cap to compensate for inflation and to provide full support for current library and school needs within the original intent of the program--universal access to advanced telecommunications and information services.

"Until the e-rate cap is increased to meet existing needs, the FCC should not consider expanding the type of entities or services eligible for support," said Alan Inouye, director of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy.

Maintaining the flexibility of the current e-rate program is essential to meeting the needs of local libraries and schools, ALA contends. …

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