FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2014
Brian Pacheco, NHMC
NHMC Commends FCC Vote to Increase Funding for Broadband for Schools and Libraries
Commissioners Also Recognize Importance of Broadband at Home
WASHINGTON - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to increase the funding cap for the federal E-Rate program, which provides support for schools and libraries seeking to connect to high-speed Internet access service.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) commends the FCC for raising the cap of the E-Rate program to $3.9 billion. This is the first time the cap has been reset since it was initially set in 1997 at $2.25 billion.
"We greatly appreciate and support the hard work of Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn in fighting for the future of E-Rate. Ensuring that enough funding is available and that it is equitably distributed to both rural and urban school and libraries that need the support is an important and cost-effective investment in America's future and is a step towards ensuring that none of our children are left behind,” said NHMC’s policy director, Michael Scurato.
According to data released by the FCC, 63 percent of public schools with more than 40 million students lack the school Internet connections sufficient to participate in modern digital learning. Increasing the cap of this program will ensure that more people have more opportunities to get connected and take advantage of tools that can greatly improve their education.
NHMC is also pleased that Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Rosenworcel, and Commissioner Clyburn have all recognized the need to modernize another FCC program aimed at getting people connected: Lifeline. During the meeting, Chairman Wheeler noted that he can already count three votes for Lifeline modernization on the Commission, which is the amount of votes required to pass an order.
NHMC has long recognized that, together, the modernization of E-rate and Lifeline
has the potential to dramatically change lives by ensuring that all students have the connectivity required to receive a 21st century education, both in the school and at home.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Learn more at www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebookand Twitter @NHMC.