The following statement can be attributed to State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) executive director Douglas Levin on today’s vote by the FCC on E-rate modernization:
“With today’s vote, the FCC has taken a critical step to guaranteeing the 18 year-old E-rate program can continue to fulfill its critical role of ensuring equity of access to learning opportunities and supporting innovations in teaching and learning in a digital age. We thank Chairman Wheeler for his principled approach to modernization, Commissioner Clyburn for her support and leadership in initially launching the modernization effort, and Commissioner Rosenworcel for her steadfast advocacy on behalf of the needs of students and educators.
By acting today, the FCC has set robust broadband access to and throughout all schools and libraries as the E-rate’s primary goal, increased transparency of program operations and provided incentives for applicants to seek preferred pricing and services.
At the same time, today’s vote acknowledges that significant work remains to be done to ensure that specific, predictable and sufficient funding is secured to meet K-12 and library broadband infrastructure needs over the long-term and that schools and libraries – especially in rural and remote areas – have cost-effective options to access the robust broadband needed for teaching and learning in a digital age.
SETDA pledges to continue working collaboratively with the FCC and others to ensure the nation’s educational broadband needs are fully and comprehensively addressed for the long-term through the next steps in E-rate modernization.”