Education Technology Leaders Trumpet Historic E-Rate Cap Increase

FCC Approval to Strengthen Program Will Directly Benefit Current and Next Generation of America’s Students
Washington, DC
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washington, DC (December 11, 2014) – CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) – the professional association for K-12 district technology leaders – today applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approving a $1.5 billion annual funding boost to the federal E-rate program.

CoSN CEO Keith Krueger said:

“The FCC’s action today is a triumph for learning that reflects the world we live in and enables more personalized education.

“As we have seen year and after year, America’s classrooms do not have the needed technology infrastructure and related investments to cultivate learning environments that truly prepare students for college, career and life. Today’s vote paves that path for the current and next generation of America’s youth.

“Raising the cap also ensures that more schools can achieve the broadband goals established by the Commission last July, including expanding Wi-Fi connections, robust networks and broadband speeds. The FCC also wisely expanded the program’s definition of rural to more appropriately target resources to less populated – and typically underserved – school systems.

“We thank Chairman Wheeler as well as Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn for their steadfast leadership in this monumental decision for U.S. education. We encourage local and state leaders to make similar investments to equip all students with the broadband connectivity they need to learn and thrive in today’s increasingly connected world.”

The vote also implements important other programmatic changes to promote and create incentives for greater investments in education telecommunications networks. In a complementary step, the Commission also voted to increase the Connect America Fund’s minimum broadband speeds for rural areas.

CoSN has been a long champion of the E-rate program and the need for reform and urgently needed expansion. In the fall, CoSN, in partnership with AASA (The School Superintendents Association), unveiled its second national survey revealing broadband and technology infrastructure shortfalls in America’s schools. The report, which identified affordability and adequate funding as the most significant barriers to reaching the national ConnectED connectivity goals, helped inform the FCC in its rulemaking process. Read more here.

About CoSN

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit cosn.org or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.

Learn about CoSN’s 2015 Annual Conference in Atlanta, March 16-19 at: cosnconference.org.

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