Cites need for schools and libraries to focus on pandemic
The FCC said it is putting off planned changes to the form carriers fill out for E-Rate funding, citing COVID-19 and the need of folks to focus their resources on dealing with the pandemic “without the added burden of having to familiarize themselves with a modified form.”
E-Rate is the subsidy carriers can apply for to fund high-speed broadband to schools and libraries.
The FCC was planning to change the drop-down menu on online form 470 to minimize confusion and in response to stakeholder requests, and do it before carriers filed for their 2020-2021 funding. But the Wireless Competition Bureau in concern with the Office of the Managing Director, said it will remain unchanged for the next funding cycle ” to allow schools and libraries to continue to focus their time and resources on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The FCC will put off any changes until at least 2022, they said “given the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the advent of COVID-19, the E-Rate subsidy has gained new prominence as schools closed and education moved online.