E-Rate 101 and Its Impact on K-12 WiFi Planning
- $1 billion in New k-12 WiFi
- Funds available in 2015
E-rate will fund $1 billion in new K-12 Wi-Fi in 2015. Districts need to plan carefully to meet funding caps and 5 year infrastructure needs. Big changes are coming to K-12 technology funding via the E-rate program. New FCC rules, issued in response to strong market feedback, increase the emphasis on E-rate funding towards internal broadband connectivity, especially Wi-Fi. These changes recognize the critical role of technology in education, and especially the power of the Internet and networked resources to enable more personalized and dynamic curriculum. E-rate is an FCC program intended to help fund telecommunications services and technology in K-12 schools. It defines eligible services and requires school districts, and their vendors, to follow specific processes and timelines to publicly post their requirements and select winning bidders.