Divided FCC Votes To Expand E-Rate

Amidst protests over Title II, a politically divided FCC voted 3-2 (Republicans strongly dissenting) to approve an expansion of the FCC's E-rate program, which subsidizes advanced telecommunications for schools and libraries. They also agreed to raise the cap on E-rate subsidies by up to 16-cents per-phone line—the current tax on consumer phone bills is 99-cents per month for all Universal Service programs, the chairman said in announcing the proposal.  

In addition to the protestors, also speaking out were witnesses from schools and libraries who said the expansion was crucial to learning in the digital age.  

The E-rate (or education rate) is the Universal Service Fund subsidy on consumer phone bills that goes to getting advanced telecommunications to schools and libraries.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.