E-Rate 2.0 Funding Begins Flowing in FY 2016
Published: January 06, 2016
Nearly $8 billion in funding will be committed over the next two years as part of 'E-Rate 2.0.' However, the modernized program will likely be a decade-long effort and face some political volatility.
“E-Rate 2.0” (as the modernized program has been called informally) is heavily intertwined with the Obama administration’s ConnectED Initiative. The primary goal of ConnectED is to ensure that 99% of American students will have access to “next-generation” broadband by 2018. The FCC’s stated goal is 1 Mbps/student for Internet access and 10 Mbps/student for WAN access by 2018.
However, nearly 21 million students still do not have the FCC's recommended minimum of 100 kbps Internet access. So, meeting the new goals will more likely be a decade-long effort. The best indicator as to which states might take the lead on E-Rate 2.0 is to look at a map of state performance under E-Rate 1.0.
School Districts Meeting FCC Minimum of 100 kbps of Internet Access/Student, FY 2015
The 2015-2016 funding year is the first year for E-Rate 2.0. So data is not yet available as to the effectiveness of the FCC's modernization effort.
This report provides an overview of the policy and spending landscape of E-Rate 2.0. Data is conveniently aggregated regarding which states are best positioned to leap forward in terms of gubernatorial commitment and which technologies and discount bands are getting the most funding.