White House: FCC Raising E-rate Cap Is Essential

The White House Wednesday called the FCC proposal to raise the E-rate cap by $1.5 billion an "essential step" in the President's ConnectED initiative.

That shout out for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed revamp of E-rate, which the chairman outlined to reporters earlier this week came in an e-mail from the White House about a day-long White House event Wednesday, where the President met with educators from across the country to talk about that ConnectED initiative, whose goals is to connect 99% of students to high-speed broadband via schools and libraries.

Citing the FCC, the White House said that "68% of school districts report that not a single school in their district can meet high-speed connectivity goals."

The President announced the ConnectED initiative in June 2013, which included calling on the FCC to spur high-speed connectivity to schools. "Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries," the White House said, calling the FCC's action in February to begin the expansion a "$2 billion down payment on the President's connectED goals.

Citing Monday's announcement of the expansion of the E-rate subsidy, the White House said: "This proposal – scheduled for consideration by the FCC in December – constitutes an essential step to provide the resources needed to meet the goals the President outlined..."

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.