10th Annual E-rate Trends Report Indicates Need for Off-campus Funding
- Off-campus internet is an ascendant issue for schools, communities and parents. 90 percent of respondents report that insufficient internet access is a significant issue in their communities, and 93 percent report that they would share their discounted Internet access off-campus if allowed by the FCC.
- Emergency relief funding was not largely utilized to close the digital divide during the pandemic; the E-rate program is viewed as a viable mechanism to fund off-campus connections. 58.6 percent of respondents did not use or were unable to use the Emergency Stabilization Fund for expenses necessary to support off-campus internet access for remote learning. Moreover, 82.5 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that their schools and libraries would use the E-rate program for off-campus connections.
- The administration and efficiency of the E-rate program has improved. The majority of respondents are satisfied with the administration of the program by USAC and the EPC tool that enables applicants to file for E-rate funding.
- The modernization of the E-rate program was successful, and there continues to be increased demand in C2 services. 75 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that they would be applying for discounts on Category Two services in FY2021.
- E-rate remains a vital program for schools and libraries to achieve connectivity goals. 90 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that schools and libraries connect more students at faster speeds due to the E-rate program.
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