Markey, Original House Author of the E-Rate Program, Applauds Expansion of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative
876 schools and libraries in Massachusetts received more than $30 million in E-rate funds in FY 2012
Washington (February 4, 2014) – Washington (February 4, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the House author of the original “E-Rate” program to fund computer and Internet access in schools and libraries, today praised President Obama’s investment of $2 billion over two years in the ConnectED initiative that will improve broadband access for 20 million students across the country. Senator Markey’s original E-Rate program was created as a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. That program has delivered more than $32 billion in funding to connect schools and libraries to the Internet to ensure access for low-income students and families, including over $450 million in Massachusetts. In 1996, only 14 percent of K-12 classrooms had Internet access. Today, Americans benefit from near ubiquitous deployment.
“Speed, not access, is the 21st century imperative for broadband connections in schools and libraries, and ConnectED will help accelerate the speeds needed to close the digital literacy gap for our students,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “E-Rate ensured all kids had access to the Internet, and now we must maintain our technological edge in education through faster connections to accommodate today’s Internet offerings. I look forward to working with President Obama, my Senate colleagues, and the private sector to improve these connections.”