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Commissioner Pai Releases Financial Projections for E-Rate Proposal

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Released: July 10, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information: (202) 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, DC 20554

TTY: (888) 835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).



July 10, 2014

Matthew Berry (202) 418-2005




Proposal Slashes Funding Available for Internet Connectivity

Tomorrow, the FCC is scheduled to vote on a proposal to change E-Rate, a program designed to

help schools and libraries connect to the Internet. That proposal promises over $5 billion for Wi-Fi but

doesn’t identify where the money will come from to fund this new program.

After crunching the numbers provided by FCC staff, the Office of Commissioner Ajit Pai has

developed financial projections that validate the concerns of congressional leaders of both parties that the

proposal’s promises would come out of funding available today for Internet connectivity. Here are the


Over the next five years, the FCC’s Wi-Fi proposal would cut over $2.7 billion

($2,716,652,262) in funding available for Internet connectivity for schools and libraries.

In Year 3, the proposal would cut over $645 million ($645,658,643) or 27% of funds

available for Internet connectivity.

In Year 4, the proposal would cut over $985 million ($985,937,579) or 39% of funds

available for Internet connectivity.

In Year 5, the proposal would cut over $1.085 billion ($1,085,056,039) or 41% of funds

available for Internet connectivity.

Because of these spending cuts, many rural schools would lose all of their funding for

Internet connectivity in Years 3 through 5.

The FCC’s Washington-knows-best approach would deprive local school districts of the

flexibility to meet local needs. By slashing funds available for Internet connectivity, the program will

likely provide many American students with “Wi-Fi to nowhere.”

Educators and librarians deserve better than more broken promises. The better course would be

fiscally responsible, student-centered E-Rate reform. This would promote digital learning and place trust

in local communities, instead of government officials in Washington, DC.

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