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FCC E-Rate Decision Draws a Crowd

The FCC drew plenty of reaction to its decision to expand the E-rate program, which subsidizes advanced telecommunications for schools and libraries, including to raise the cap on E-rate subsidies by up to 16 cents per phone line per month.

The FCC voted 3-2 to increase the cap on E-rate funding by $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion, with inflation escalations as well. Republicans called it an ill-targeted spending spree. Democrats called it the launch of a necessary digital upgrade for the nation's school kids, and chairman Tom Wheeler called it a moral imperative.

Beyond the FCC there was much cheering from Democrats and schools and libraries and the tech companies that will be supplying that new capacity, but less enthusiasm from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which is also concerned about government-subsidized overbuilding.

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