The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice detailing the pilot program that was included in the Sixth Report and Order on the E-rate program, released by the Commission at the end of September. The pilot program, E-rate Deployed Ubiquitously 2011 (EDU2011) will look at the benefits and challenges of off-premise wireless connectivity services (Internet access) for mobile devices that would be used to enhance formal and informal learning opportunities. The pilot program will help the Commission determine whether and how the connectivity services should be eligible for E-rate support.
The Commission authorized up to $10 million for funding year 2011. The Commission anticipates that only projects that are already in place or that have been planned will receive funding from the E-rate program. Support is targeted at innovative, interactive projects and the Public Notice suggests that only a few projects will be supported. The deadline for applications is December 17. For a full program description and application process information can be found in the Public Notice.