Policy & Funding | News
E-rate Survey: Funding Increase Deemed Critical
An E-rate funding increase is critical
to the success of many school districts, according to a new survey from the
consulting firm Funds for Learning.
The company released the results of its Funds For Learning 2014 E-rate
applicant survey at the ISTE 2014
conference in Atlanta last week. It was the fourth such survey from the company. Previous
surveys were conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
Funds for Learning has shared the results of the survey with the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and
the Universal Service Administrative Company
(USAC). The FCC is in the process of reforming the E-rate program, which helps
schools and libraries pay for Internet access, and this survey is intended to
give administrators and school technology leaders a voice in the E-rate reforms.
"The data serves to inform debate over the direction of the program and involve
those who haven’t had an opportunity for their voices to be heard," according to
Funds for Learning.
Key findings from the survey include:
- 92 percent of respondents said the E-rate program is critical to their
- 58 percent expect their budget for telecommunications and Internet
access to increase over the next five years;
- 43 percent said their technology infrastructure is lagging;
- 51 percent said their telephone infrastructure is lagging; and
- 48 percent feel that their Internet access is not adequate for their
According to Funds for Learning, the most popular E-rate changes are raising
the funding cap, multi-year funding commitments and simplified application
The survey was conducted online through SurveyMonkey from May 20 to June 8,
2014. Respondents included 626 school and library technology leaders from 44
Full results of the survey are available at
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.