For those of us who did not take Marijke Visser’s advice for light holiday reading, ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Fellow Bob Bocher has a belated gift. Click here to get the library “CliffsNotes” of the E-rate Order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December 2014.
This summary provides a high-level overview of the 76-page Order, focusing on four key changes:
1) Ensuring all libraries and schools have access to high-speed broadband connectivity.
2) Increasing the E-rate fund by $1.5 billion annually.
3) Taking actions to be reasonably certain all applications will be funded.
4) Correcting language in the July Order that defined many rural libraries and schools as “urban,” thus reducing their discounts.
This document book-ends nearly two years of ALA and library advocacy and joins a similar summary of the July 14 FCC E-rate Order. In addition to the summaries, we encourage you to go to the USAC website where there is a dedicated page for the most up to date information concerning the E-rate program.
Bob, Marijke and I also invite you to usher in a “New Year, New E-rate” with a free webinar from the Public Library Association, Thursday, January 8. We’ll review important changes in the program and discuss how libraries can take advantage of new opportunities in 2015 and 2016. The webinar is free, but registration is required, and space is limited! The archive will be made available online following the session.
Stay tuned. The #libraryerate conversation will continue at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.