[PL-Directors] ALA E-rate Impact Project

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Tue Mar 28 11:09:20 PDT 2017

Greetings Directors,

ALA is looking for your assistance if you feel that E-rate has had a positive impact on your library (or consortium) including success stories about any new broadband deployments/upgrades and self-provisioning and/or improved internal connections.

Additionally if you have any contact information for local stakeholders and champions of E-rate (local officials or business people) that you could share, that would be very welcomed as well.

Please see the original email below and contact Marijke Visser at mvisser at alawash.org<mailto:mvisser at alawash.org> if you would like to contribute to this project. Thank you!


Hello everyone,

As you many of you know, the Washington Office has started to regroup our advocacy efforts around the E-rate program to be prepared for renewed attention on the FCC's Universal Service Fund programs from both the FCC and congress-of interest to us of course is E-rate. Now that we have a new administration and we're starting to see some of its priorities as well as those of Congress as related to broadband and rural infrastructure, we have moved this up in our own telecom priorities.

Today, we have a new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, who is examining all FCC program changes adopted under the previous administration. He has rescinded the E-rate progress report and we expect small tweaks in interpretation and/or major changes in the form of a new rulemaking. To date, little is known about possible Congressional action with respect to E-rate. Nothing might happen or it's possible Congress could explore amending the Telecom Act, which would have implications for the E-rate program. Additionally, there may be opportunities to expand high speed broadband access through an infrastructure bill.

In light of all this  we are working to document positive impacts of E-rate for libraries and their communities and would like to include information about any new broadband deployment or self-provisioning and improved internal connections (as you know this is of special interest to us). We would like to show how libraries that increased broadband capacity were able to add new services that patrons used to advance economic and educational opportunity.  We'd also like to understand the impact (positive or negative) of the E-rate modernization on increased broadband capacity and overall participation in the E-rate program.

We are asking for assistance in identifying particular communities that are doing notable work after having gone through a substantial increase in connectivity. We are also asking that you provide us with names and, if possible, contact information for key stakeholders and champions, e.g. elected officials or local businessperson. ALA would like examples from communities of all sizes, demographics, and locations; we hope to include some of them in a report on E-rate due out by this summer.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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