Policy & Funding | News

Conference of Mayors Urges E-Rate Reform

The leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging E-rate reform.

"The average American school has about the same bandwidth as the average American home, even though schools have 200 times as many users," the letter states. "It means that 72 percent of our schools do not have the Internet infrastructure they need to take advantage of digital learning opportunities today, and less than one percent have the infrastructure they will need in the future."

The organization recommends three suggestions to improve E-rate:

  • Focus the program on broadband connectivity and infrastructure;
  • Create a one-time upgrade fund "to connect every school and library to fiber optic cables and every classroom to Wi-Fi;" and
  • Reform program management to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

"We simply can't prepare our kids to compete for 21st century jobs by leaving them stranded with 20th century technologies," the mayors wrote in their conclusion.

Earlier this month the FCC requested public comment on proposed changes to the E-rate program.

Visit apps.fcc.gov to read the full letter.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].