Recap of Last Week
We left off last week with briefly touching on just how enormous of an undertaking Congress is taking on. This undertaking is to ensure that the FCC is providing the most current advanced technological capabilities to all Americans. In all honesty there are simply no words to describe the enormity of such a project as that of the expansion of internet availability nationwide.
Perhaps you remember that the FCC stated: “The Order adopted in July takes major steps to modernize and streamline the schools and libraries universal service support program (more commonly known as the E-rate program) and focuses on expanding funding for Wi-Fi networks in elementary and secondary schools and libraries across America. Since its inception in 1997, the E-rate program has helped ensure that eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to the Internet. In modernizing the program, the Order seeks to ensure that the program is geared towards meeting the broadband needs of schools and libraries in today’s world of interactive, individualized digital learning.”
However, that was only a glance into the changes the FCC is implementing. The FCC went on to outline three goals that they have in that same article pertaining to the E-Rate Order. Per the FCC: “The Order adopts three goals for the E-rate program: (1) ensuring affordable access to high-speed broadband sufficient to support digital learning in schools and robust connectivity for all libraries, (2) maximizing the cost-effectiveness of spending for E-rate supported purchases, and (3) making the E-rate application process and other E-rate processes fast, simple and efficient. The Order then takes actions aimed at reaching those goals. With respect to high-speed broadband, the Order increases focus on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while transitioning support away from legacy technologies. Next, the Order adopts improvements that will ensure E-rate money is spent smartly. Finally, the Order enacts numerous changes that will improve program administration. Collectively, these actions will ensure greater access to E-rate support for the Wi-Fi networks needed to connect 10 million students a year to 21st Century educational tools and target an additional $5 billion for Wi-Fi services over the next five years.”
The Reality of this Undertaking
And even still there is a lack of elaborating on the details regarding the depths and the extent of the undertaking of this project; a project that is always going to be a continuing feat to achieve without ever actually accomplishing with as rapidly as technologies are advancing. Simply put, as long as technologies continue to advance so will the depths that the FCC and Congress will strive to go to make the most up to data services available to the American public.
Part 2 of 6 Re: FCC, Congresses Role, and what this means for the future of the internet, internet services (availability and options) and service providers; the changing face of technology.
Written By: Crystal Lori-Ann Winkelman (June 2019)