WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member and former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee, today issued the following statement praising the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) selection of 20 schools and libraries to participate in the E-rate “Learning On-the-Go” wireless program. Rep. Markey was the lead House author of the original E-Rate program (or “Education Rate”), which was created as a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. In February 2010, he introduced the E-Rate 2.0 Act (H.R. 4619) to update this highly successful program and help narrow the digital divide by increasing the range of the latest telecommunication services and devices accessible to low-income students.
“Mobile devices are the blackboard and chalk of the 21st century classroom. Today, with the expansion of the scope of technology, students need more than just Internet access at school, and the E-rate Learning On-the-Go program reflects those expanded needs. By providing schools, libraries, and families with the connectivity and latest technology to communicate and learn, we are keeping America connected and competitive for generations to come.
“We recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act, and the original E-rate bill that I authored has largely fulfilled its mission of linking up schools to the Internet. I commend the Commission for updating this worthwhile program for the 21st century, and I look forward to working with the FCC and my colleagues in Congress to promote the goals of ensuring access to telecommunications technologies for all Americans.”