Bits & Bytes
FCC Approves E-Rate Changes
Schools will have the option to use E-rate funding to extend Internet access to their communities after hours, seek out “dark fiber” Internet connections, and vie for funds to support mobile-learning initiatives, according to changes to the program recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission.
The measure also includes indexing the program’s $2.25 billion annual funding cap for inflation, the first change to the cap since the program—which provides schools and libraries with discounted Internet access—was founded by Congress in 1997.
A separate measure passed at the Sept. 23 meeting that frees vacant airwaves between TV channels, or “white spaces,” to host technologies like “super Wi-Fi” could also affect schools, particularly in rural regions.
The mobile-learning provision may be of the most interest to school technology directors, who are increasingly exploring ways to weave mobile learning into their school programs. Currently, technology directors may only purchase mobile devices through the program if the mobile devices remain on campus. The revision creates a pilot program that may offer select programs funding to support the use of school-issued mobile devices after school hours, provided those programs applying for the funding can prove the devices will lead to increased achievement.
Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 14Published in Print: October 20, 2010, as FCC Approves E-Rate Changes
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- Executive Director
- The Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
- Assistant Superintendent of Data, Intervention and Supports
- Kirkwood School District, Saint Louis, Missouri
- Territory Manager USA, North America
- Bright Advertising, New York City, New York
- Principal - Middle School
- MARANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Tucson, Arizona
- Head of School
- The Lab School of Washhington, Washington D.C.