Today’s decision by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to increase funding for E-Rate represents a giant leap forward in fulfilling the goal of connecting every classroom in America to high-speed wireless Internet in the next five years.
This is a truly landmark decision, the effects of which will be felt for a generation. Not only will it spark more students’ interest in entering the fields that make up STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – but it will also help make our students and our nation more globally competitive. And the nations that embrace the digital transition will lead the way in terms of job growth, innovation, and a stronger economy.
In the classroom, this decision will have a dramatic impact. It will put the power of the Internet in the hands of millions more students, giving them access to amazing videos, creative science experiments, and rich media content of all types. This will help transform our classrooms and help them be homes of discovery, inventiveness and intellectual exploration. Just as importantly, it will help connect students in rural areas, so that they have access to specialized courses that may not be offered locally.
The bottom line is this: E-Rate is the foundation of our nation’s efforts to connect schools and libraries to the Internet.
Under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC today has renewed the promise of the E-rate for this new generation of students and will help prepare them to be leaders in the innovation economy.