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Policy & Funding | News

E-Rate Demand Increasing

Demand for E-rate funding is increasing, especially in rural and remote districts, according to a new report from Funds for Learning, an E-rate consulting firm.

The report, "FY2014 E-rate Funding Requests: Telecommunications and Internet Access By Schools & School Districts," which analyzes funding requests for funding year 2014 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015). It does not include funding requests by libraries or consortia.

According to the report, requests for Internet access and wide area network (WAN) services have continued the trend of shifting to higher broadband speeds. The report also found that schools and districts categorized as rural and rural remote had the most growth in demand for E-rate funding, and that the number of vendors listed on applications for internal connections and maintenance "has continued to drop, which suggests less competition in that space."

Other findings from the report:

  • Alaska had the highest per-student E-rate funding requests at $465.14 per student, followed by the Virgin Islands at $132.39 per student;
  • Utah had the lowest per-student E-rate funding requests at $9.24 per student, followed by Delaware at $10.75 per student;
  • Remote rural schools and districts in Alaska had by far the highest per-student E-rate funding requests at $1,626.80; while suburban schools and districts had the lowest at $29.97 per student; and
  • The average per-student E-rate funding request was $41.41.

According to Funds for Learning, the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), which administers the E-rate program, released its first wave of FY 2014 funding May 15. "Of 10,134 applicants, 38 percent received funding decision letters. In all, $607.3 million in telecommunications and Internet access discounts was committed. USAC also issued denials totaling $22.8 million," according to information released by Funds for Learning.

The full report, "FY2014 E-rate Funding Requests: Telecommunications and Internet Access By Schools & School Districts," is available as a free PDF download from the Funds for Learning site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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