Archive for June, 2014
Solutions to Common Questions about the E-Rate Modernization Proposal to Get Wi-Fi in every Schools and Libraries
Monday, June 30th, 2014
We have spent the past few times – at the American Library Organization annual conference in Las Vegas and in Atlanta at the International Society for Technology in Training 2014 conference and the State Educational Technology Directors Organization Emerging Technologies Forum – talking with stakeholders, from teachers plus librarians to individual school superintendents, CTOs and state education technologies directors, about Chairman Wheeler’ s E-rate Modernization proposal. In talking to these stakeholders, we found that there are some common questions people have about the proposal.
Monday, June 30th, 2014
Earlier today, I had the pleasure of visiting the Pueblo of Acoma within central New Mexico along with Senator Tom Udall, my second trip to Indian Country in 2014. I saw buildings carved out of the earth by hand in the 17th Century, as well as met with community leaders centered on unlocking the digital opportunities of the 21st Century.
I had enlightening discussions with Tribal leaders at the economic development opportunities that come with enhanced communications access. The discussions brought home the heightened importance intended for Tribal communities of so many issues before the FCC.
Acoma illustrates the power of communications technology in order to overcome geographic isolation and put a global of information and economic opportunity in the fingertips of citizens in however, most remote communities.
It also demonstrates how we still have an electronic divide in this country, with non-urban communities, and especially Native Americans, disproportionately at the wrong side, getting bypassed by Internet revolution.
Acoma is located in Cibola County, where nearly half of residents (45%) don’ big t even have access to 3 Mbps broadband, which is less than what’ s recommended to stream HD video without problems. Barely 10 % have access to 10 Mbps broadband. We must do better.
Within communities like Acoma with low broadband access rates, the local library is often a digital lifeline for area residents. That’ s certainly genuine of Acoma.
I actually visited the Acoma Learning Middle – the town library, which has a computer lab with 10 desktops. Region adults rely on the Learning Center’ ersus computer lab to look up information on everything from jobs to health care, and children use these computers intended for help with their homework after college.
Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Correcting the lack of robust Wi-Fi in schools and libraries is a major focus of our E-rate modernization efforts. Nearly 60 percent of schools in America lack sufficient Wi-Fi to provide their students and teachers with modern educational tools, and far too many schools simply have no Wi-Fi at all. As the President said a year ago in announcing the particular ConnectED initiative, which called for high speed wireless connectivity in all schools and libraries, “[i]n a Nation where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why shouldn’ t we have it in our institutions? ”
The Chairman circulated an Purchase that will take steps to modernize the particular E-rate program last week, but responsibility to resolving the Wi-Fi space in our nation’ s schools and libraries does not end there. Supporting the Chairman’ s two overarching goals for the E-rate modernization proceeding – ensuring all schools and libraries have access to high speed broadband and maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate supported purchases – the FCC and the U. S. General Solutions Administration (GSA) have entered into a to partner to deliver to institutions and libraries the opportunity to consolidate their purchasing power and save substantial money on wireless access points, routers, and the other equipment they need to deploy modern, robust Wi-Fi systems. We expect this opportunity to be accessible for E-rate applicants in Financing Year 2015.