To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article “Ed. Groups Calling For FCC Action” (Oct. 26, 2016).
The North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, which your Oct. 26 article referenced as having made a limited contribution to educational media, is the second-largest Educational Broadband Service provider in the United States, with 52 licensed markets, including 24 in rural areas. We make extensive use of our EBS spectrum through Mobile Beacon, which provides tens of thousands of unlimited, 4G LTE internet connections to schools, libraries, and educational nonprofits across the nation.
Our broadband service supports education for at-risk populations at every level, including students from low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. As the article mentions, this year alone Mobile Beacon has donated more than $1 million worth of 4G LTE modems. Not mentioned was the fact that these modems expand broadband access and educational services to more than 4,000 schools and educational organizations.
We agree with the article on an important point: Available spectrum that is not used when schools are in need of additional broadband connectivity needs to be addressed. We are an active advocate for increasing the use of the EBS in the United States; however, many licensees already make significant contributions to America’s educational fabric, and those should not be ignored.
North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation