LEAD Commission Wants Pai E-Rate Commitment

The LEAD Commission wants senators to put a spotlight onE-ratewhen it puts the spotlight onFCCnominees in a hearing Wednesday.

It wants the members of the Senate Communications Subcommittee to get FCC chairmanAjit Paito commit to supporting the E-rate program, which subsidizes high-speed broadband to schools and libraries.

The commission was created back in 2012 in response to a challenge from then FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan to help technology "transform" education.

Related: Net Neutrality Group Turns Focus on the Hill

“In a technology-driven, and globally competitive economy, connecting our schools and libraries with access to high-speed internet and WiFi is essential to learning and student success,” said LEAD commissioner Jim Coulter. “E-rate has been a critical part of expanding access to basic internet connectivity for students, and we strongly believe that E-rate funding should continue."

The commission commended the FCC's past work to modernize the program and pointed to Pai's support for it as a commissioner.

Pai is being renominated to a five-year term—his current term, dating from when he joined as a commissioner, expired at the end of June. Theother nominees areDemocrat Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the strongest voices for a strong E-rate program, and Republican Brendan Carr.

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.