(The Hosting News) – The federal program designed to help schools and libraries receive Internet access and technology devices may be loosing some of it’s funding for outdated services, said the Federal Communications Commission on Monday.
According to a report Education Week, in a meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers, FCC chairman TomWheeler, stated that the Commission would create a “special strike force” within the Universal Service Administrative Company, the organization that oversees the $2.4 billion yearly budget of the E-rate program.
“We will modernize what was a wonderful program for meeting 20th-century needs to one that is a great program for providing 21st-century connectivity into and throughout our schools and libraries,” stated Wheeler.
Roughly $600 million is spent each year on outdated services such as pagers, web hosting, 800 numbers, and mobile phones for school officials which are “nice to have” but not a “must have”, argued the chairman.
“Mobile phones are now ubiquitous in our nation. E-Rate support does not mean the difference between teachers having mobile phones and not having them. But we spend over $175 million a year of E-Rate funds to pay for mobile phones.”
Also mentioned in the meeting was the hundred of millions of dollars spent on text messages, 1-800 services, and emails.