Technology is no doubt changing the way kids learn in the classroom but the harsh reality is that many schools simply don’t have the funding necessary to deliver adequate Internet speeds to classrooms. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is looking to remedy the situation with a proposed 62 percent increase in spending to help get fiber-optic lines to every school and Wi-Fi in every classroom.
In a conference call on the matter with reporters, Wheeler said the fact that the preponderance of those without connectivity are low-income rural and urban schools is particularly unacceptable so they’re now doing something about it.
Specifically, Wheeler wants to raise the cap on spending for the FCC’s E-rate program by $1.5 billion which would bring total annual spending to $3.9 billion. The move would cost consumers an additional $2 per year which would be added to every phone bill in the US.
The FCC said that while the impact on consumers will be small, the impact on children, teachers, local communities and American competitiveness will be great.
The proposal is scheduled to be voted on during the commission’s December 11 meeting and like most political matters, is expected to face stiff opposition from opposing party members.