3 reasons E-rate funding remains critical for school internet access

The federal E-rate program remains a vital and trusted funding source to bring “mission-critical” internet access to schools and libraries, according to an annual report tracking trends and developments related to the federal funding stream.

The 2021 E-rate Trends Report, from E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning, arrives as school systems work through COVID-related impacts, including the Homework Gap and on- and off-campus broadband needs.

Responses from a record-breaking 2,164 applicants indicate that E-rate remains essential, and network security is now an urgent concern.


Key 2021 report findings include:

1. E-rate remains a vital program for schools and libraries to achieve connectivity. With a record number of sites served in 2021 (130,418), 97 percent of respondents agree that more students or library patrons are connected because of the E-rate program. Ninety-five percent agree that E-rate funding is vital to internet connectivity.

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

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