BIPARTISAN LEAD COMMISSION URGES FCC TO ACT THIS SUMMER TO MODERNIZE THE E-RATE PROGRAM FOR SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES

JUNE 19, 2014 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the bipartisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission submitted a letter to The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging meaningful, swift action to modernize and expand the E-Rate program to connect 99 percent of American students with high-speed broadband by 2018.

LEAD calls on the FCC to take immediate steps this summer to update the E-Rate rules with a focus on bringing high-speed broadband to schools and closing the Wi-Fi gap.  LEAD wants to ensure that the rules have time “to take effect before the next round of E-Rate funding.” The letter urges early adoption of the updated rules and reiterates LEAD’s key recommendations for a successful program – improved infrastructure, expanded accessibility, and stronger connectivity. 

“We don’t want to put this off for another year,” LEAD commissioner Jim Coulter  said. “The momentum for an E-Rate overhaul has been supported by business executives and bipartisan government leaders at all levels. FCC action this summer secures that the next cycle of E-Rate funding can be allocated under new rules, which meet the current needs and connect an additional six million students to Wi-Fi.  The time to act is now.”

About LEAD Commission

Answering a challenge from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Education, the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission was established to determine how technology can help transform education in America. The Commission is co-chaired by Lee Bollinger (President of Columbia University), Jim Coulter (Co-Founder of TPG Capital), Margaret Spellings (Former Secretary of Education) and Jim Steyer (Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media).