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
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.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].