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E-rate must move away from legacy technologies that are only capable of yesterday’s dial up speeds.
Intended to connect every school and library to fiber and every classroom to Wi-Fi, it will allow all schools to meet the connectivity goals proposed by the President, save billions, and put in place the infrastructure needed for a generation.
E-rate can reduce costs and improve efficiency by collecting and releasing more data about network infrastructure, how funds are spent, and what providers charge.
While the E-rate program was enormously successful in bringing basic telephone and broadband to schools and classrooms, the connectivity provided is no longer sufficient.
The E-rate of yesterday…needs to be updated to support today’s Gigabit fiber and Wi-Fi connectivity. Modernizing E-rate is critical for our students and teachers.
Investing in high-speed broadband infrastructure and wireless network upgrades for schools and libraries is an educational necessity and an economic imperative for our country.
By modernizing the successful E-rate program, we can give students access to modern tools today so they can succeed tomorrow.
Two way video that beams experts and experiences from around the globe into the classroom
Immersive learning games as engaging as the best video games
Blended learning models that let teachers spend more time in small group instruction
One-to-one learning technologies that let students learn at their own pace
America’s schools need an upgrade. We must leverage technology to transform education and prepare our youth for the knowledge economy. Last summer, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize the E-rate program to connect 99% of America’s students to high-speed broadband and ubiquitous Wi-Fi. Today, America’s CEOs call on you to ensure that the funding is available to upgrade K-12 school Internet infrastructure for digital learning.
Today, America’s CEOs call on [the FCC] to ensure that the funding is available to upgrade K-12 school Internet infrastructure for digital learning.
Scarcely a business exists today that has not been transformed by the Internet. It has changed how we create and deliver our products, find our customers, and service their needs. The Internet has also altered the very nature of work and the skills individuals need to be competitive in the knowledge economy. If a business does not embrace technology and the Internet, that business will be unable to compete in the global economy. Likewise, if our schools do not embrace technology and the Internet, our children will be unable to compete in the global economy.
America’s businesses need a workforce that is prepared for the knowledge economy. We need schools that teach our students the 21st century skills that are the foundation of a competitive workforce and whose graduates are college and career ready. In an era of scarce resources and increasing complexity in the classroom, digital learning represents our country’s best hope to transform its K-12 education system to meet these goals. America cannot afford to stand by while our competitors around the world invest in the future of education and a workforce that is superior to our own.
We need schools that teach our students the 21st century skills that are the foundation of a competitive workforce and whose graduates are college and career ready.
The foundation of digital learning is robust Internet infrastructure. Unfortunately, 72% of our schools and more than 40 million students do not have access to the connectivity and equipment they need.1 To ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to participate in the knowledge economy, we must connect our schools to fiber and deploy ubiquitous wireless networks to all of our classrooms.
The E-rate program has the resources to make this investment. The FCC must act boldly to modernize the E-rate program to provide the capital needed to upgrade our K-12 broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi infrastructure within the next five years. The FCC must also ensure that E-rate funding is spent effectively. In this era of scarce resources the FCC should focus E-rate spending on upgrading America’s K-12 Internet infrastructure and help schools dramatically lower the cost of bandwidth. This can be accomplished by using E-rate funds to provide the capital investment to connect our school districts to high-speed fiber networks. This is a financially sound investment that will lower bandwidth costs, enable investments in Wi-Fi upgrades, and generate tremendous returns for both our students and the American taxpayer.
The FCC must act boldly to modernize the E-rate program to provide the capital needed to upgrade our K-12 broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi infrastructure within the next five years.
We are grateful for the FCC’s attention to this critical issue and stand ready to help achieve this important mission for America’s future.
Cc: Commissioner Clyburn, Commissioner O’Rielly, Commissioner Pai, and Commissioner Rosenworcel
1 Source: EducationSuperHighway National SchoolSpeedTest, 2013