Follow up on this event's outcomes through the related Headlines linked below to or skip to the event data.
This event has passed.
National Broadband Plan Workshop (Education)
Wordle created from this session:
Federal Communications Commission
Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room)
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
August 20, 2009
- Kristen Kane, National Purposes Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative
- Steve Midgley, Director Education, Omnibus Broadband Initiative
- Carlos Kirjner, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative
- Regina Brown, Attorney Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau
- James Bachtell, Attorney Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau
- Cara Voth, Attorney Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau
Panel 1: A View on Innovation, Research and Development
- Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation, United States Department of Education
- Joel Smith, Vice Provost & CIO, Carnegie Mellon University (see prepared presentation)
- Kumar Garg, Policy Analyst, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Panel 2: Viewpoints from Media and Society
- Susan Zelman, Vice President, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (see prepared presentation)
- Todd Hitchcock, Vice President, Pearson Learning (see prepared presentation)
- David Johnson, Senior Resident Fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology (see prepared presentation)
Panel 3: The Future of E-rate
- Sheryl Abshire, Chief Technology Officer of the Calcasieu Parish School System, Lake Charles, Louisiana
- Tom Greaves, Chairman, The Greaves Group (see prepared presentation)
- Carrie Lowe, Director, Program on Networks for the Office of Information Technology Policy, American Library Association
- Chris Lehmann, Principal, Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see prepared presentation)
The goal of this workshop is to identify potential impact of increased broadband access on education outcomes and how broadband policies can help improve those outcomes. The FCC hopes to learn about ways in which broadband can impact education at the early childhood, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels in a cost-effective manner. The workshop will look at current programs, such as e-rate and evaluate how such programs can be improved, for example, to take advantage of new technologies that have arisen since it was established. The workshop will also look at what applications and devices might be used to improve educational performance.
- Broadband and educational outcomes
- Opportunities and benefits of broadband in education
- Future use of broadband in education
- The future of the e-rate
- Most promising broadband related applications and devices for education
- Digital literacy
What some have already told the FCC about broadband and education...
Alaska E-rate Coordinator
The Universal Service Fund and, more specifically, the E-rate program is the single most important factor in the presence of broadband within Alaska's rural communities. With the exception of Anchorage, all of Alaska's communities are considered rural under USF. Most communities in Alaska are villages with populations of less than 500 people. USF makes it possible to bring broadband to the schools and libraries of these communities but that connectivity has yet to reach the homes within those communities. It is our sincere wish that the USF program and the ARRA broadband initiatives will look for ways that these programs might be complementary and supportive of one another. While 12 years of USF has driven a successful build out to the schools and libraries of our communities, the new broadband initiatives may well use the lessons learned from this successful program and extend the reach of broadband further - into the residences of these communities.
EDUCAUSE/Internet2/ACUTA have a deep and wide-ranging interest in the nation's broadband capabilities. The future of our country and its competitiveness depend on the quality and reach of our higher education. In an ever-changing, highly-competitive, and international economy, our educators must teach students how to prepare for professions that do not yet exist and work with technologies we cannot yet imagine or comprehend. Because of this, it is essential that campuses have access to the highest broadband speeds available to conduct the education and research our economy demands to remain in the forefront of international scientific discovery. As research becomes increasingly datadriven and increasingly international (e.g., the Large Hadron Collider), it is essential that these broadband technologies are upgraded and distributed throughout the campus to serve the needs of students in all disciplines and areas of study.
EdLiNC has pursued a mission of preserving and protecting the Schools and Libraries program (commonly referred to as the E-Rate) and has filed in every Commission rulemaking related to the program. Now, EdLiNC continues to focus on improving the program's administrative processes, ensuring that discounts from the Schools and Libraries program reach those most in need, and preserving the program's integrity.
- NOI asks about Effectivness in schools and libraries furthering the goal of the NBP?
- Examples of benefits in different districts across the country, example of how local service provider forced to extend fiber from a county seat in Mississippi to a school for E-Rate purposes has brought internet to the whole community.
- We call on the Commission to leverage the valuable work that the program has already done, and is continuing to do, by incorporating improvements to the Schools and Libraries program (described herein) within the new national broadband plan.
- To extend the work with schools and libs, Funding Cap for Schools and Libraries must be lifted.
- With 40,000 applicant annual demand exceeds programs 2.25 billion cap.
- As a result of the growing demand for Priority One services, the funding available for Priority Two services−internal connections costs−has declined. Thus, there are not enough funds available for Priority Two services, causing the Schools and Libraries program to deny assistance to many economically disadvantaged schools
- Based on current program guidelines and demand, only schools and libraries at the most dire end of the poverty spectrum, i.e., schools that fall at or above the 80% discount level, are provided with Priority Two access. Most schools that are at the 70% discount level and below are denied help from the program, leaving many at risk students and economically disadvantaged communities unconnected.
- Commission also seeks comments in the NOI on how the Schools and Libraries program could be modified to provide additional broadband support.
- merit in creating a new, separate and distinct broadband fund in universal service to complement the work that the Schools and Libraries program is currently doing. However, in creating such a new program, we urge the Commission not to undermine the success and work of the Schools and Libraries program by shifting money designated for the Schools and Libraries fund to a new broadband program. In particular, EdLiNC recommends against fund-shifting given the evidence of current underfunding for E-Rate
- Smaller changes to improve Bband penetration in unserved and underserved areas.
- Streamlining and simplifying the Schools and Libraries application process;
- Establishing a multi-year application for Priority One services in which funding requests would be considered annually along with all other applications received within the application window;
- Involving more technology in the entire process, including making forms available online, making the USAC website interactive, and allowing applicants to e-mail rather than fax communications;
- Increasing information available to applicants throughout the process by providing applicants the latest information on the status on internal connections and the procedures and current status of audit reviews;
- Changing library poverty rates for the purposes of the Schools and Libraries program; and
- Exempting all Universal Service Programs from the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA).
Reduce cost allocation requirements for schools and lib progrand to encourage deployment
- Current Schools and Libraries program rules make it difficult for schools and school libraries to allow the public to use supported telecommunications and Internet services during non-school hours
- By relieving this burden on schools and school libraries, those entities could focus on providing community broadband access to help advance online learning, stimulate economic growth, and increase demand for broadband.
- The Commission requests comment on how the it should collect data on broadband use supported through universal programs
- measure the degree to which students, educators, and library patrons have access to advanced telecommunications services. However, in doing so we recommend that the collection of this information be conducted in as non-burdensome a manner as possible, capitalizing on any pre-existing, recent surveys (including data collected by the Universal Service Administrative Company) that can supply the relevant information
- how a national broadband plan should measure the use of broadband infrastructure and services to advance education
- the measurement of any national broadband plan's impact on education must be measured based on the meeting of connectivity metrics, not academic ones.
... and may we suggest
Education from Benton's Action Plan for America
- Improving the E-rate as Part of National Broadband Plan
- Schools and Libraries Ask FCC to Raise E-rate Cap, Focus on Classrooms and Libraries
- Wireless Industry Wants Bigger Piece of E-Rate Pie
- Effective Date Set For Updated, Upgraded E-Rate Program
- FCC Proposes E-rate Updates
- FCC Allows Community Use of E-Rate Supported Broadband
- ALA Proposes E-Rate Changes
- FCC Seeks Comment on Broadband's Role in Education and E-rate Reform
- Internet Service Upgrade Coming to Poor and Rural Schools
- Panelists to FCC: Raise e-Rate funding cap
- E-Rate Reform
- Petition calls for more E-Rate funding
- Municipal and County Officials Support "Dark Fiber" Proposal for E-rate
- Opening the Door to E-Rate in Our Communities
- Broadband and the Future for Educational Technology