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FCC Modernizes Broadband & Mobile Access for Schools & Libraries PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to modernize E-Rate. E-Rate was established in 1996 to provide federal subsidies to schools and libraries for telecommunications and Internet access. Back then, many schools were still on dial-up and the broadband available was sluggish by today's standards. What's more, the Internet was something people accessed from desks, not mobile devices.

Under the new rules, schools will be encouraged to upgrade to 1 gigabit, which is a thousand times faster than the 1 megabit service that many schools use today.

Mobile and Community Access
Another provision of the new rules provides pilot program for mobile access. Although still relatively rare, some schools are using smartphones, iPads, iPod Touches, Netbooks and laptops as part of the learning process and now at least a few schools will be able to use E-Rate funding to equip students with devices that let them access learning materials not only from school but from home, in-between school and home or wherever they happen to be.

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