News You Can Use: The Latest in Broadband & E-Rate

In light of recent changes, both administratively and fiscally, we are tracking breaking news and offering some interpretations of events.

All editorials and opinions offered are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the Georgia Public Library Service as a whole.

There is a great deal of uncertainty as to how E-Rate will be funded in future years:

  • 09.15.17: Mapping Our Broadband Divides — And How to Bridge Them – Chairman Pai’s Approach to and the Rural Digital Divide: Slower, More Expensive, Less Open Broadband
  • 08.21.17USAC reported that in consultation with the FCC, they are in the process of “formulating a plan to transfer the funds of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to the U.S. Department of Treasury.”(This means that the money is now subject to legislative review and can be included or excluded from the federal budget.)
  • 07.31.17: Net Neutrality, E-Rate, Hot Topics Again in Washington. ALA worked with key members of Congress serving on the respective committees to submit questions and background material ahead of the hearings to be placed in their official records.
  • 04.18.2017: Chairman Ajit Pai addressed a letter to the (then) Director of USAC Chris Henderson, detailing his complaints re: management of E-Rate.
  • Chairman Pai has already capped some other services that USAC administers. The E-Rate program may be facing similar caps or significant changes in how E-Rate monies are disbursed in the future.
  • Pai has a history of voting against expanding the E-Rate program (he voted against Obama’s E-Rate reforms in 2014)