Magazine article Technology & Learning

More Money for Schools

Magazine article Technology & Learning

More Money for Schools

Article excerpt

As reported by John Eggerton from Tech&Learnincf s sister publication Multichanel News:

Amidst protests over Title II, a politically divided FCC voted 3-2 (Republicans strongly dissenting) to approve an expansion of the FCC's E-rate program, which subsidizes advanced telecommunications for schools and libraries, including raising the cap on E-rate subsidies by up to 16 cents per phone line. The current tax on consumer phone bills is 99 cents per month for all Universal Sendee programs, the chairman said in announcing the proposal. In addition to the protestors, also speaking out were witnesses from schools and libraries, who said the expansion was crucial to learning in the digital age.

The FCC voted to increase the cap on E-rate funding by S1.5 billion to $3.9 billion, with inflation escalations as well. Republicans called it an ill-targeted spending spree. Democrats called it the launch of a necessary digital upgrade for the nation's school kids, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called it a moral imperative. The move also provides more payment flexibility' for non-recurring construction costs, allows for self-construction of last mile facilities when that is the most cost-effective option, adjusts the per-square-foot calculation for funding, expands the definition of "rural" area eligibility to 250,000 people or less, and dismisses various challenges to the proposed new rules. …

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