LEAD Commission Commends FCC for E-Rate Modernization Processing

In Comments to FCC, LEAD Commission Commends FCC for E-Rate Modernization Proceeding, Stresses Need for Superfast Broadband Delivered to ‘Most Students at the Lowest Cost’

Sept. 17, 2013: The Leading Education by Advancing Digital (“LEAD”) Commission yesterday submitted comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s proceeding to modernize the E-Rate program, which helps bring Internet connectivity to schools and libraries. The full comments can be found here.

The following statement can be attributed to the LEAD Commission:

“We commend the FCC for asking a broad set of questions in this proceeding, and we believe they should consider all the options and ideas for modernizing the E-Rate program received through the initial comment period. Long-term American competitiveness requires putting 21st century technology in the hands of our students and teachers. The LEAD Commission strongly supports modernizing the E-Rate program and we hope this proceeding will inform the FCC on the need and the pathway to deliver the highest bandwidth to the most students at the lowest cost, and in the shortest amount of time.”

Since 1996 this program has delivered Internet access to our nation’s schools. Seventeen years later, “we face a critical issue of insufficient capacity, not access,” the filing said, adding “the program is long overdue for an update.”

The LEAD Commission has set forth a five-point blueprint with specific actions to accelerate the equitable adoption of digital learning across American schools and improve student outcomes.

1.       Solve the infrastructure challenge by updating the wiring of our schools with high-speed broadband;

2.       Build a national effort to deploy digital learning devices in the hands of all students by 2020;

3.       Accelerate the adoption of digital curriculum and encourage continued innovation;

4.       Embrace and encourage model schools; and

5.       Invest in human capital to train our teachers.

For more on these points, please see LEAD’s recently released report Paving a Path Forward for Digital Learning in the United States.

The full text of the comments can be found here.