Although the FCC
is drawing the ire of many for its new stance on net neutrality, it’s important to remember that the agency is also doing good work to get Internet
access to people who will certainly benefit from it. The FCC is “modernizing” its E-rate program
to increase broadband
Internet access into schools and libraries all over the country, including in rural areas.
This week, the FCC hit the $1 billion funding mark, which is quite fast for the E-rate program, meaning that broadband is getting into schools more rapidly and more cheaply.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
A large part of the FCC’s push to manage the E-rate program better is to get WiFi
into schools; along with broadband, that obviously allows whole classrooms to make much more efficient use of the Internet access available.
After a visit to a secondary school in Virginia this spring, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
penned a blog post
noting that some 60% of American schools lack sufficient WiFi capabilities to serve students. He hopes that the changes in the E-rate program will cause a significant impact in schools and libraries by the 2015 school year.