Funds For Learning Trend Report Provides Snapshot of E-rate Program

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Funding applicants weigh in on E-rate’s strengths and opportunities for improvement amid efforts to modernize the program.

“The E-rate program has never been more pivotal to ensuring our students and library patrons are connected in an increasingly digital society,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning.

Twenty years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 created E-rate funding, significant measures are underway to update the program that has become vital to schools and libraries across the United States. In an effort to aid policymakers, administrators and other E-rate stakeholders as they shape the future of the program, Funds For Learning releases its E-rate Trends Report.

Based on a survey of 1,016 applicants representing a cross-section that closely matches the overall population of E-rate applicants, the report sheds light on how applicants perceive the program’s utility and effectiveness. Notable findings include:

  •     90 percent of respondents expect to add faster internet connections over the next three years.
  •     72 percent of respondents said Wi-Fi is critical to fulfilling their organization’s mission.
  •     79 percent of respondents said they do not have a backup or secondary internet connection in the event that their primary connection fails.
  •     60 percent of respondents reported difficulty navigating the new E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
  •     94 percent of respondents indicated their organization will continue to apply for E-rate funding in the future.

To view and download the full 2016 E-rate Trends Report, visit https://www.fundsforlearning.com/2016ErateTrends.php.

“The E-rate program has never been more pivotal to ensuring our students and library patrons are connected in an increasingly digital society,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “Gathering feedback directly from applicants is an important step in understanding what’s working and how the program can be improved to better serve our communities.”

Funds For Learning meets today with representatives from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to discuss the E-rate Trends Report. The E-rate program supports more than 118,000 school and library facilities and 50.4 million K-12 students.

About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit http://www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.

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Lauren West
C. Blohm & Associates
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Brian Stephens