Huffman Applauds President Obama for Investments on Broadband Connectivity

February 05, 2014

WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that it will invest $2 billion in bringing broadband Internet connections to schools and libraries through the federal E-rate program. In December, Huffman and two dozen colleagues urged the FCC to modernize the federal E-rate program to better help connect schools and libraries to affordable, high-speed broadband internet access.

“Digital connectivity will only become more important to education, and every school in America should have access to high-speed internet. I’m pleased that the FCC is doubling its investment in bringing high-speed internet to schools and libraries” Congressman Huffman said. “E-rate has been instrumental in bringing basic internet to schools on the North Coast, yet it hasn’t kept pace with the exponential growth of changing technology. This increased funding will help modernize the program and help teachers and students around the country.”

E-rate provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help schools and libraries throughout the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. However, in many cases the infrastructure or technology previously provided through the E-rate program is now obsolete by today’s standards, preventing schools in rural areas from using modern learning technologies.

According to the FCC, the newly announced initiative represents a doubling of investment in broadband and will connect 20 million students in at least 15,000 schools to high-speed Internet access.