The E-Rate program was established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to make telephone and internet service more affordable for schools and libraries throughout the country, particularly in rural and urban areas. This federal program provides discounts on services including: Telecom Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted an E-rate Modernization Order that will expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries across America. The new rules are the next major step in a comprehensive modernization of E-rate, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st Century broadband connectivity, ensuring E-rate money is spent smartly, and improving program administration. The reform will expand Wi-Fi to more than 10 million students in 2015 alone.