The FCC is in the process of reforming the E-rate program, which helps schools and libraries pay for Internet access, and this survey is intended to give administrators and school technology leaders a voice in the E-rate reforms. "The data serves to inform debate over the direction of the program and involve those who haven’t had an opportunity for their voices to be heard," according to Funds for Learning. Key findings from the survey include:
- 92 percent of respondents said the E-rate program is critical to their success;
- 58 percent expect their budget for telecommunications and Internet access to increase over the next five years;
- 43 percent said their technology infrastructure is lagging;
- 51 percent said their telephone infrastructure is lagging; and
- 48 percent feel that their Internet access is not adequate for their current needs.
- The most popular E-rate changes are raising the funding cap, multi-year funding commitments and simplified application paperwork.